Cloud computing has left its mark across a diverse spectrum of industries, giving business leaders the opportunity to leverage enterprise-grade storage units, processing power and application suites faster and easier than ever before. So, it was really no surprise when I noticed that nearly all of the 10 technologies listed in The Huffington Post's recent health care trend forecast were cloud-related. As the sector transitions more confidently into the digital era, health professionals are not only catching up with big business in terms of cutting-edge tech, but are also pushing the envelope of innovation themselves.
Health Systems Get up to Speed
Delivering quality health care is the ultimate driver of recent powerful and disruptive IT advancements. The efficient, streamlined approach of the cloud is why I see it making repeat appearances in news features such as Huffington's list. According to David Chou, CIO of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a thought leader in the areas of primary patient care, medical research, advanced care and clinician training, a few big-ticket cloud trends can help streamline health care organizations:
- Smartphones:Improved care and interdepartmental communications are just a couple of the powerful benefits these devices can bring to the table.
- Bring your own device:Buying and distributing tablets and phones can be a budgetary and logistical nightmare for hospitals - BYOD fixes that.
- Social platforms:One of the defining trends of the decade, social media has fueled patient engagement and facilitated global health campaigns.
- Virtualization: The underlying technology that makes cloud computing possible - virtual environments let health care CIOs create powerful IT configurations with ease.
- Mobile health: Hospital ERP systems need to be accessible through smartphones, tablets and laptops, not just desktop workstations. The cloud makes this possible.
- Big data:Centralized cloud computing resources help to make health care analytics initiatives a reality, guiding professionals toward better practices.
The Right Solution for the Job
With so many fascinating trends to take into account, health pros may be a bit overwhelmed when seeking the best solution for their circumstances. In addition, healthcare providers must evaluate the security of various cloud offerings to ensure it meets standards for HIPPA compliance for systems and databases that contain patient information. That's why I always recommend seeking the assistance of an expert third-party service provider to develop a cloud infrastructure blueprint and execute the strategy accordingly.