Healthcare providers- Is it time to accelerate your cloud migration?

The Covid-19 fueled digitalization has brought some interesting challenges for hospitals and healthcare systems. There is a lot of discussion around the consumption of the public cloud by healthcare organizations.

Gartner predicts that by 2022, 75% of organizations will have a public cloud strategy, which means that if you as a healthcare provider don’t have one, now is definitely time to start thinking about it.  

A vast amount of digital health data remains underutilized and siloed in the organizations that hold it. The challenges of interoperability, limited access to computing resources at scale, and the critical need for security and privacy have often made it difficult for health care systems and life sciences companies to translate digital health data into new and meaningful improvements.

If health data is on the cloud, discoveries using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies can be used to look for newer patterns and findings that can ultimately lead to better patient outcomes. This means that cloud and AI-supported clinical insights can help healthcare providers spend more time engaging with patients and less time facing computers.  

Cloud will, thus, enable healthcare companies to turn large volumes of clinical and claims data into breakthroughs, better care, and streamlined operations. 

However, unlocking the power of this data is not easy as it requires deep collaboration and partnership with each stakeholder (including patients) and requires careful protection of patient privacy.   

Cloud migration, thus, holds a great promise (and significant challenges) for positively transforming the way healthcare is delivered and spearheading medical discovery and research.  

When it comes to cloud migration, the primary questions that healthcare providers ask include-  

  • Can we be more secure in the cloud?  
  • Does moving to the cloud have any financial benefit? 
  • How can we optimize our cloud consumption? 
  • Which public cloud should we consider moving to? 
  • How do we deal with healthcare compliances in a cloud environment? 

The answer to these questions lies in creating a customized strategy for cloud migration in healthcare, covering all aspects of your cloud move, including requirement analysis, risks assessments, cost analysis, and other pros and cons.  

Studying the advantages of cloud migration can help you make a better case for deciding whether it fits in your long-term organizational goals.  

Benefits of cloud tech for healthcare businesses: 

Cloud computing offers numerous advantages regarding the on-demand availability of computer resources and systems. This includes data storage, computing power, and large storage capacities.  

The primary benefits of cloud migration remain the same for every industry. You have unlimited scalability, data accessibility, high availability, privacy, security, and, lastly, economic feasibility.  

Let us now understand these benefits in light of the healthcare industry: 

Cost-cutting:  

As cloud technology leverages a pay-only-as-you-use model, the healthcare industry can benefit from standardization in networking, infrastructure, and standard APIs to consume & manage that infrastructure.  

The easy-button power on/power off infrastructure will thus take things that used to cost 10s of 1000s of dollars and reduce them to a fraction of that price. Operational expenses such as buying a server rack and stacking it in the data center are eliminated.  

Research and innovation: 

Healthcare data on the cloud enables big data research programs and newer ways to detect, treat and cure hundreds of different diseases. This ultimately leads to precision in medicine and clinical advancements.  

Increased accessibility:  

Authorized users can easily access cloud-based health data. This includes clinicians, pharmacists, doctors, patients, and other stakeholders. If data is stored locally, it has limited accessibility. When any healthcare organization wants to scale, this cloud-based architecture can help by centralizing the data.  

Being cloud-based also enables interoperability and collaboration between all users.  

Secure Backups: 

Data available on local servers are susceptible to data loss. Having healthcare data on the cloud ensures its recovery, whether there was a natural disaster or a pre-planned cyber-attack.  

Increase in storage capacity:  

With the cloud, you have an infinite number of servers at your disposal that you can use as you need, allowing you to lower costs and scale as you go. This scalability gives healthcare providers the right platform to store, compute, and analyze massive patient data with ease. 

Challenges in the way of healthcare cloud adoption 

Over the years, numerous challenges have been posed to healthcare businesses that want to migrate to the cloud. Some of these challenges are compliance-related (HIPAA), and some of them are personal information, availability, control, and security-related. 

Also, implementation challenges such as changing workflows and migration of legacy systems, etc., can become a bottleneck for traditionally operated businesses.  

This has caused a lot of hesitancy in cloud adoption by the healthcare sector. But these problems can be surely solved with the help of quality cloud solution providers and cloud testing prior to migration. 

In other words, to circumvent these risks, healthcare organizations need a well-planned and thought-out strategy focused on quality migration with zero disruption to services.  

Let’s talk about it in the next section.  

The Quality component: Ensuring a successful cloud migration 

Quality is a critical factor that deems the success of cloud migrations. From inception to going live, it is essential that healthcare providers understand all the above-mentioned cloud-related risks and subsequently frame an appropriate migration approach.  

Doing this can ensure that the technical solution implemented adds to business confidence and helps in improving functionality, performance, and security. In a quality-focused cloud transition, all healthcare providers should be able to transition to the cloud with no impact on their end-users, future-proofing their infrastructure for years to come. 

Summing it up: 

It is truly the best time to be in healthcare technology. Over the last decade and especially post the onset of COVID-19, significant changes can be seen in the medicine and medical industry. This includes the digitization of health data, increased telehealth solutions, and the overall digital transformation of healthcare.  

Digital, however, comes with the burden of regular checks and maintenance. One minor slip-up can mess with the entire system, which is where the experience and expertise of an acclaimed Quality Engineering Service provider come in. In an industry such as healthcare, where one mistake could be potentially disastrous, spending ample time and resources on quality control is important.  

Choosing a good quality solutions provider for cloud testing before migration is a crucial decision that can ultimately make or break your cloud move.  

 

 

By Hassan Javed

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