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Cloud technology makes healthcare innovation soar

Moving to the cloud is an opportunity for organisations to deliver better and more personalised care for patients

Few business leaders would deny that cloud technology is the foundation upon which the most transformative technical advancements of the past decade have been built. Without it, we wouldn’t have some of the most useful tools that have already become ubiquitous in modern life, including email, social media and online banking.

Some in the healthcare industry, however, remain hesitant to fully embrace the power that cloud technology provides. Changing that could alter the face of the entire industry — and power healthier lives for patients.

Expert insight: “If you agree that the patient comes first, you simply need to prioritise integrated, data-driven healthcare – any challenges are secondary. That is the only way to create value in healthcare, delivering better experiences and outcomes at a lower cost. That needs trust and consent, but it also needs an investment in infrastructure.”

Prof. Pascal Verdonck, Ghent University, Belgian & European Association of Hospital Manager
By the numbers*:  $100 billion to $170 billion in 2030: Projected potential value that cloud capabilities can generate for healthcare companies.

Experts estimate that transitioning from paper to electronic records could make healthcare systems 20% more efficient

Making educated decisions amidst complexity

Leaders are right to be concerned about the integrity and security of their company’s data. However, many may not realise that, though the risks are real, numerous mitigating solutions are already embedded into the underlying architecture of the cloud. And to address hesitancy around the ability of cloud-based systems to meet the needs of the heavily regulated healthcare industry, cloud service providers (CSPs) include built-in features to make their products pre-compliant with regulatory agencies. They also build in the ability to update as requirements change to maintain compliance.

Resistance to change can also come from those who have a limited knowledge of cloud technology, even within hospital IT departments. Starting conversations about the reality of the risks and how they will be addressed can help to minimise resistance. Making sure that stakeholders are educated about the benefits to patients and to the business before mandating change can also facilitate a positive culture shift.

Shifting to the cloud is a business transformation, not just an infrastructure change

Some individuals or teams within a company may view the embracing of cloud technology as “an IT thing.” They may think that it doesn’t concern them if they’re not directly involved with the tech stack of the organisation. But the wide variety of benefits that cloud technology brings means that its possibilities can (and should) touch almost every aspect of the business. 

When leaders are open and transparent in their internal communications about the reasons for moving to the cloud and involve their staff in conversations about potential risks and benefits, this creates the kind of shift that helps foster acceptance. It can also generate ideas for process change and innovations that maximise infrastructure investments even more. 

Education and transparency shouldn’t stop with team leaders, it should extend to those outside of the corporate environment as well. Ensuring that administrators, doctors, staff and even patients, understand the many benefits of cloud technology, and the processes in place to reduce risk and improve care, can smooth the transition and encourage widespread acceptance.

Outlining the benefits of data in the cloud

With the needs of those being served in mind, it’s possible to envision a variety of applications for data that is easily accessible to approved systems and users: 

  • Data organised and shared among geographically dispersed locations creates efficiency by minimising the need to duplicate data collection and analysis efforts. This saves administrative time and resources, and also delivers faster, more personalised options for end users, whether they are researchers, clinicians, or patients.

  • Products can be conceptualised, developed, tested, and brought to market faster.

  • Regulatory compliance can be managed and updated as needed remotely, saving time and effort.

  • Teams don’t have to “reinvent the wheel”, by figuring out how to set up tools such as LLMs or vectors. They can use existing building blocks and experiment. 

  • Cloud services enable development of digital twins, which can reduce the need real-world testing by 50%

  • Future innovations can be integrated faster, helping organisations stay at the forefront of new developments. 

Perhaps most valuable of all, cloud-based systems enable almost limitless capacity for expansion, providing the ability to include processes or applications created by others and/or add additional functionality.

Expert insight “So once you figure out how to make it work once ... then you can have a lot of new products come in very quickly and the return on investments is very spectacular because you don’t have to reinvent everything. You just fly.”

Stephane Bancel, CEO Moderna Therapeutics

Putting theory into practice

When medical diagnostics company Renalytix needed to integrate their groundbreaking AI system with hospitals and healthcare providers, creating a cloud-based portal was part of the answer.

Renalytix uses Artificial Intelligence to assess patient biomarker data for potential markers of kidney disease. This technology has the potential to save millions of lives and millions of dollars in costs to healthcare providers. But integrating the software for each different provider presented issues that could have taken years to solve.

To address this challenge, a cloud-based portal was developed to allow physicians to access the application without integrating it into their hospital’s system. This eliminated many time-consuming hurdles and opened up options for potential Renalytix customers to try the solution before committing to a lengthy integration process.

Empowering industry leadership with flexibility, functionality and agility

Coupled with open source software solutions that offer the ability to integrate and adapt existing code for speed and cost benefits, moving to the cloud gives organisations the opportunity to chart a path toward more effective, more personalised care for patients. Furthermore, the business benefits from the flexibility, constantly growing functionality, and agility that cloud technology provides. 

Insight, imagination and expertly engineered solutions to accelerate and sustain progress.