Cloud and Healthcare: How COVID-19 brought Changes to the Industry?



How Cloud technology is helping healthcare industry to win over COVID-19?

The outbreak of COVID-19 continues to terrorize the world, with no cure nor vaccine in sight. However, the healthcare sector has not given up yet. Institutes and organizations in the healthcare industry have expedited their efforts to discover the drug to fight the coronavirus, come up with innovative solutions to mitigate the current situation and deploy aid and testing kits to the necessary areas, and much more. Most of this would not have been possible if not for the upsurge of cloud services in the wake of the global crisis. Leading companies like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are proving handy in leveraging the highly demanded cloud solutions both to government and private bodies. In this article, we shall exemplify how healthcare services are leveraging cloud solutions to battle the pandemic crisis.

Healthcare institutes like hospitals, clinics, generate a lot of data viz., scan reports, prescriptions, and so on. The most common advantage of a cloud-based system is that healthcare providers can focus on other crucial aspects of this profession and responsibilities leaving IT experts to worry about data records. E.g., Google’s Cloud Healthcare API allows healthcare organizations to collect and manage data from a variety of sources and systems, providing doctors with a comprehensive view of a patient’s medical records.  Even patients can get access to their health records via the same shared platform, which also gives them the chance to see the services they are paying for and make cost-effective decisions. Moreover, since the physical storage of data is not always possible, the cloud saves much time, resources and is a cheaper alternative. Plus, updating data on the cloud is much easier too. This is critical to healthcare because speed is the need of the hour when the number of patients is rapidly increasing due to COVID-19. Hence, accessibility to faster cloud servers makes it easy to upload, share, and recover data at a quick pace and more efficiently.

The cloud platform also provides an opportunity to scale up the services as per the requirement. That is cloud technology permits deploying scalable applications as needed, instead of paying for on-premise services that have limited flexibility. This imperative to meet sudden demands without bothered about expenses and paves the way for future growth via collaborations. The latter is important since the sharing of resources can create better opportunities for patients. When a healthcare institute partners with other healthcare providers, it is empowered with the capability to provide better services. In addition, if it collaborates with a crowd-funding body or any financial organization, it can offer affordable services for its patients too.  Such collaborations produce a better healthcare system for everyone. Cloud services of Google have sustained many collaborative research and interoperability efforts between organizations.

Cloud also helps address the security concerns, which have increased a lot since the COVID-19 has declared as a pandemic. Medical firms and centers are relying on private and hybrid cloud solutions to keep the patients’ details secure from online hackers. Besides, due to the remote location of cloud servers, the instances of location data theft or similar risks are significantly reduced. This feature also enhances data recovery processes.

Lastly, the cloud has propelled the trend of telemedicine. Through video-conferencing, healthcare workers can monitor and provide safe healthcare remotely. In Asia, Doctor Anywhere’s telemedicine services saw a seventy percent increase in traffic, according to an official statement by the company’s Chief Technology Officer Rishik Bahri. Telemedicine presents an exciting prospect of transforming how patients interface with doctors, including when they seek in-person attention at a medical facility or when they connect with a provider remotely while maintaining the doctor-patient privacy.