Back to the Basics of Cloud Computing Services in Healthcare

Cloud Computing in Healthcare

Cloud computing is a method of collecting, storing, and monitoring patient data online. It allows flexibility for providers and patients so that remote care services and data storage can be securely and effectively provided [1]. Therefore, it is no surprise that the industry is expected to grow in the years to come. 

Different Cloud Computing Models

There are different types of cloud services available to meet different functional requirements of businesses. In the healthcare industry, different providers have different needs based on the type of services they provide for their patients. Therefore, picking the right cloud model is crucial. 

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS is useful for clients that prefer their services to be offered virtually or on the cloud [2]. Oftentimes, APIs are used to access and manage various resources [2]. IT techs often provide the infrastructure, operating system, and platforms virtually in order to promote flexibility and accessibility [2]. This model is the most flexible service, doesn’t require a physical servicer, and can be cost-efficient for consumers [2]. However, it may require more training for users, there may be potential security concerns, and it requires a stable internet connection in order to access the service [2].

PaaS – Platform as a Service

This model is easier to use since developers create the IT infrastructure, operating system, and easily deployable apps for the consumer to use [2]. Clients can manage and access different tasks based on their needs. This model promotes collaboration, is cost-effective, and comes with an easy-to-use app that is tested and managed by developers. However, this can also come with security risks since data is handled by a third party [2]. Furthermore, transferring from this model to another cloud service may be difficult since the app relies on the host [2]. 

SaaS – Software as a Service

SaaS is different from the other models because it comes as an environment with an adaptable UI [2]. Since it requires an internet connection, clients don’t have to download software to each computer to access cloud services. This model also promotes security and routine maintenance [2]. However, the cons to this model are that it may not be compatible with other tools and its complexity may hinder functionality. 

Different Cloud Computing Deployment Models

Different types of cloud computing models allow clients to pick and choose the services they want based on their functional requirements and budget. Depending on the type of data, clients can choose between private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud services. 

Private Cloud

This model is used for vendors that want their data available off-site, but not shared with other vendors [3]. Companies that use this model often handle their hardware needs internally for single-use purposes. This model offers secure access and can adapt to functional requirements based on the client’s needs [3]. It’s also easier to meet regulatory needs since this is a simple yet secure model that specifically fits the needs of the client. However, this is a more costly model, not ideal for long-term use, and can cause clients to run into accessibility issues. 

Public Cloud

This model is most common and allows public consumers to access various resources, often through the implementation of a subscription [3]. It is also able to adjust to current functional requirements. However, it may be difficult for this model to support regulatory needs, government policies, and certain industry standards [3]. 

Hybrid Cloud

This model uses private and public models in order to offer a more personalized infrastructure. Sensitive data is protected in certain apps, however, more common and general services are available via the public cloud. This model is becoming increasingly preferred due to its flexibility to share across various cloud models. It also meets regulatory compliances and can be adjusted depending on current functional requirements [3]. However, it is generally more costly than the public cloud, it requires a stable infrastructure, and must be compatible to meet the needs of the public and private sectors [3].

Benefits of Cloud Computing in Patient Monitoring

The first benefit of cloud services is the ability to provide collaborative patient care. Since data is stored in the cloud, providers can collaborate to provide more personalized and effective treatment plans to their patients [1]. This also allows test results from different clinics to be shared with the primary care doctor. Furthermore, adverse health effects can be avoided since doctors will be made aware of symptoms that worsen. Another important benefit is the use of big data applications in improving patient outcomes [1]. Cloud computing makes patient data more accessible, which allows algorithms to be implemented so that predictions are made to prevent possible health threats [1]. The algorithm can also be used to predict which course of treatment was found to be more effective for patients. Overall, cloud services make data more accessible, which in turn promotes more useful connections to be made that improve patient health. 

Challenges with Cloud Computing

Some of the challenges of cloud computing in healthcare is securing sensitive patient data [4]. For instance, patients may not want to use a service that provides fast diagnostic tools using cloud services and AI if they feel their records may be at risk. Some of the concerns with patient data are how long the data should be stored, how it should be stored, and how companies can protect data from threats. Healthcare providers must also comply with various data regulation laws in order to protect themselves and the patients that opt for their services [4]. Finally, another challenge is potential downtimes with the software that can decrease reliability and delay treatment for patients [4]. Although using big data and cloud services together can benefit patients with faster treatment, it must be done so with the priority to protect patient safety.

HITS

HITS provides healthcare management services and works with providers in the development of health informatics tools that promote safe, timely, and secure patient care. We take pride in our services and settle for nothing other than 100% quality solutions for our clients. Furthermore, HITS supports and promotes information sharing within the health and public health sector while protecting against cyber threats between the private health care industry and the federal government. Having the right team assist with data sharing is crucial to encouraging collaborative and secure care for patients. If you’re looking for the right team, HITS is it! You can reach out to us directly at info@healthitsol.com. Check out this link if you’re interested in having a 15-minute consultation with us: https://bit.ly/3RLsRXR.

References

  1. https://www.galendata.com/9-benefits-cloud-computing-healthcare/#:~:text=What%20is%20cloud%20computing%20in,data%20on%20a%20personal%20computer
  2. https://www.mindinventory.com/blog/iaas-vs-paas-vs-saas/ 
  3. https://www.mindinventory.com/blog/types-of-cloud-computing/ 
  4. https://www.healthitoutcomes.com/doc/ways-cloud-computing-is-impacting-healthcare-0001