Cloud-based technology is changing the way we live — bringing collaboration and IoT to our everyday life. While its effect on business cannot be denied, it is also changing the very face of healthcare. This tech is not just important to bring in organisational efficiency; it has also changed the way medical care is administered.
In fact, cloud tech has really taken off aggressively in healthcare as both the public and private sector has understood its immense potential in the field. From collaborative research to ERP solutions in healthcare — cloud tech has found groundbreaking applications in the health tech industry.
Collaborative research cloud:
Healthcare research is becoming increasingly collaborative. Medical research often requires working across different demographics and geographies. Moreover, drug companies are targeting more than one set of demographic, which means researchers are working across vast distances. Medical research also often takes time, sometimes years, of painstaking work. All this requires a safe, collaborative space that is easy to access and helps in analysis.
This is where cloud tech comes in. At the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, physicians used cloud-based platform for breast and ovarian cancer research. Cloud tech was necessary given the massive amount of data they were working with — more than 2,000 DNA sequences from different recipients. With cloud tech they could maintain patient confidentiality, keep it scalable, while ensuring a collaborative environment that would enable them to work with external partners.
Patient empowerment tools:
Cloud based technology is now increasingly being used to enable people to take control over their own health. From general fitness to diagnostic care — the cloud is hosting information that is completely patient-oriented. Healthcare providers are using this space to administer preventive medicine, offering advice and tools for patients monitor their health, store the data and share it with professionals.
Paperwork is not just irritating for organisations, it is equally (if not more) irritating for people in the waiting room. But technology can go far in easing the pain. Special patient kiosks with cloud-based tech will help patients to log in themselves and fill up forms. This has multiple benefits. Patient experience is improved as waiting time is reduced. Some kiosks also make pre-booking possible. In which case, time is saved on both ends — the patients and the administration. The organisational benefits are obvious — less paperwork, time saving, safety and reducing office expenses.
Another means for patient empowerment is ePrescribing. According to many physicians, patients often do not need to individually come to hospitals. Minor illnesses can be prescribed on the basis of symptoms, which are just as easily informed through cloud-based tech. That is why ePrescribing could very well be our future. Doctors can fill prescription, address refill requests and arrange for patient medications in special cases. Even in cases where patients must appear for consultations, Follow up prescriptions can be followed through the cloud.
Cloud technology has encouraged patient-centric measures like patient portals. Patients can fix appointments, make payments, view their clinical history, ask for prescription refills, communicate and even get access to educational material through patient portals. This simple facility can be immense for patients used to long waiting time and obfuscation at medical centers. It can save time, effort and reduce office expenses.
Or electronic health record is another path breaking technology which benefits both physicians and patients. Keeping your records in the cloud means that they cannot be misplaced or lost. But this cloud tech goes beyond that. It includes other players like pharmacies and laboratories. So, your doctor can get instant access to your entire medical history, including your recent lab results and even inform the pharmacy. The organizational efficiency is truly impressive. Paperwork and storage is eliminated, time saved and coordination speeded up. The pharmacies have a much better inventory control.
We’ve already seen how cloud technology has become an integral part of research. This could be the key in finding cure for some of the most dangerous diseases we are faced with today. Cloud is also proving critical in preventive healthcare. By collating health records in a region, authorities can see patterns, spike in suspicious cases and take action. Health warning and care deployment is also facilitated through the cloud.
However, one of its less realized benefits is the ability for better public care management. Studies have shown that the neediest often slip through the gaps, unaware or outside the ambit of public healthcare. Cloud technologies are instrumental in creating a more socially aware public policy structure and then ensure that it is implemented in its entirety.
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