Cloud services set to expand in healthcare field
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Cloud services set to expand in healthcare field

For some time, healthcare professionals have been touting the benefits of using cloud storage to revolutionize the healthcare IT industry. There are billions of people on Earth, many of whom regularly consult with a physician or have had to enter a medical facility for emergencies. As such, capacity has become an issue. Doctors can no longer afford to buy the necessary hard drives needed to store the documents or invest in file cabinets to hold tangible files.

The cloud can be of great help in these situations. A scalable entity, depending on the size of the practice or center in question, the cloud can hold innumerable patient records. Moreover, by placing medical records in an environment that can be accessed by chosen medical professionals, this can make numerous situations easier on both patient and practitioner.

Though questions have arisen about implementing the technology in a cost-efficient, compliant manner, numerous healthcare providers are embracing the cloud. More expansion is predicted in coming years.

Market set to hit $5 billion by 2017

Within the next five years, a recent report from MarketsandMarkets revealed, there will be more widespread adoption of the cloud by healthcare providers. The study found that the market for the technology will reach nearly $5.5 billion by 2017. This figure accounts for the inclusion of all cloud models – hybrid, private and public, though the company found that the majority of the clouds used by medical centers are either hybrid or private.

MarketsandMarkets predicted a major surge in adoption soon, noting that in 2011, only 4 percent of medical professionals were using the technology. The report said many providers are currently setting aside funds and developing plans for a smooth transition. Doing so will lessen the costs of many medical services.

Changing the way healthcare is approached

HealthTechZone reported that the move to the cloud is adding to the way in which technology is influencing patient care.

"Advances in telemedicine, wireless networks, virtual care solutions, information exchanges and cloud computing are empowering health care providers to improve their business operations while giving them more time to provide quality care," Dr Peter Tippett, the chief medical officer and vice president of Verizon Connected Healthcare, told HTZ.

The source explained that, in addition to record keeping and accessibility, the cloud is providing a real impact on clinical services. Individuals can upload their vital statistics, as well as other information to the cloud, which doctors can access in real time to analyze and provide guidance.