Healthcare in Cloud: Optimizing Patient Care and Improving Data Compliance

Healthcare in Cloud

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The healthcare industry qualifies as an emergency services category and demands great synchronization between various departments. It is also an insights-driven industry that generates a humongous amount of data. Considering the interdisciplinary coordination and data confidentiality standards cloud computing serves as an amazing solution in the healthcare segment to match up with the growing workload.


What is Cloud Computing in Healthcare?


Cloud computing in healthcare involves using remote servers and advanced cloud-based technology to store, manage, and access healthcare data and applications online. Healthcare organizations benefit from secure storage of patient records and medical images on virtual platforms with the efficiency of remote servers. The adoption is extremely fast paced with the global cloud computing healthcare market growing at a CAGR of 17.8 % and poised to reach a valuation of $89.4 billion by 2027.


Cloud computing revolutionizes healthcare, providing flexibility for healthcare providers to manage resources and adapt to changing patient data needs. This agility is vital in the fast-paced medical field. Cloud-based solutions address the challenge of storing and accessing patient data, ensuring its safety and availability from anywhere. This fosters collaboration among healthcare professionals, accelerating access to vital patient records and ultimately enhancing the quality of care.


Common Healthcare Challenges the Cloud Solves


In a data intensive industry like healthcare, organizations grapple with the management of vast amounts of sensitive data every day. Cloud helps them in addressing the key challenges that often revolve around ensuring data security, accessibility, and cost efficiency.


Cost of Storing Data


Medical institutions handle extensive volumes of data from various devices, requiring constant hardware maintenance and significant financial investment. Maintaining an on-premise data storage solution is costly as it requires continuous integration of new storage devices or extension of data warehouse space blocking a significant amount of opex in storage infrastructure. 


The cloud helps in cost savings towards data storage. Public cloud services like AWS and Azure have a pay-as-you-go model for their storage infrastructure. The customer pays only for the amount of storage space and computing resources they consume. This puts even small and medium healthcare businesses at par with larger organizations in terms of data infrastructure which wouldn’t be feasible if they had to purchase their own on-prem warehouse.


Data Silos Among Departments


Healthcare is a sector that demands clear communication and free exchange of data between doctors, caregivers, lab technicians, and the hospital admin staff even to successfully serve one patient. Despite this, healthcare often finds their data to be trapped in data silos of different departments. Healthcare businesses without a centralized data platform find departments using isolated software and SaaS solutions to manage their workloads. This is because isolated solutions use different types of data formats, different storage architectures, and diverse underlying operating systems.


Cloud comes as a central storage solution which maintains all the data in the same format ready for access by different departments. Maintaining a unique data format is the first step in creating a systematic EHR (Electronic Health Record). Cloud builds a sense of data ownership in departments creating data following a data mesh architecture. Each department cleans and formats its proprietary data into a uniform format followed across the organization. Departments can integrate their custom software solutions to get information in realtime and run analytics without dealing with the data transformation part. By leveraging cloud computing, healthcare organizations can also overcome accessibility hurdles as the cloud employs its own authentication and access control across the departments instead of different protocols by isolated security applications.


Stringent Data Security and  Compliance Regulations


In the healthcare industry, the stakes are high when it comes to data security and accessibility. Patient data is the holy grail of personal information and most government regulations demand strict compliance to data privacy. With the constant influx of sensitive information such as diagnostics, lab tests, medical histories, and billing records, the risk of data loss or unauthorized access is a looming threat. This is where cloud service providers play a crucial role by offering comprehensive data backup solutions and robust security measures.


Cloud computing offers a distributed storage infrastructure, ensuring that data is backed up across multiple servers located in different geographical regions. This redundancy minimizes the risk of data loss due to hardware failure or natural disasters, providing peace of mind to healthcare organizations.


Furthermore, cloud healthcare solutions come equipped with advanced security features to safeguard against cyber threats targeting IoT-connected medical devices. These features include intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), firewalls, and end-to-end encryption, which help protect sensitive patient data from unauthorized access or malicious attacks.


Limit to Scale of On-Prem Storage Solutions


Traditional data storage hardware in hospitals and health units is a big capex on the balance sheet of healthcare service providers. They need to continuously upscale their storage infrastructure anticipating the surge in growing data. A scenario like an epidemic or flu season may create this surge, weekends are busier with outpatient visits, eventually this will fizzle out leaving the resources underutilized and capital blocked on them. Resources are not completely utilized during every hour or every day of the week in a fixed on-prem storage however they are draining energy and occupying space idly.


Cloud brings in the possibility of scaling on demand. Resources are allocated as the need for storage grows. Public cloud services like AWS even offer autoscaling feature where resources will be automatically scaled without anyone needing to manually integrate new storage or servers. Unused storage and servers will be stripped off once the surge drops. Healthcare service providers pay only for the amount of time they have used a certain resource saving a lot of cost. Scalability also introduces agility to respond to more number of patients and expand the availability of healthcare.


Benefits of the Cloud in Transforming Patient Care


Enhanced Access to Care


Cloud computing facilitates remote consultations, telemedicine, and virtual visits, broadening patient access to healthcare services. This technology allows patients to easily engage with healthcare professionals, retrieve medical records, and receive prompt care irrespective of their geographical location.


Empowered and Engaged Patients


Secure cloud-based portals and mobile apps give patients 24/7 access to their information, appointments, and communication channels. This empowers them to take an active role in their healthcare journey, leading to better engagement and ultimately, better health outcomes.


Improved Care Coordination


Cloud-based systems facilitate seamless sharing of patient information among healthcare providers, reducing the need for redundant tests and procedures. This promotes care coordination, ensures continuity of care across different providers, and minimizes the risk of medical errors.


Personalized Health Monitoring


Cloud-based systems enable smooth sharing of patient data among healthcare providers, reducing the need for repetitive tests and treatments. This fosters coordinated care, ensures uninterrupted care across various providers, and decreases the likelihood of medical mistakes.


Timely and Efficient Service Delivery


Cloud computing streamlines appointment scheduling, administrative tasks, and quickens access to medical records. Patients enjoy shorter wait times, better care coordination, and rapid healthcare delivery, improving their overall healthcare experience.


Improving Data Security and Compliance with Cloud in Healthcare


In the dynamic healthcare landscape, safeguarding patient data is crucial to maintain regulatory compliance. Cloud computing emerges as the advanced solution, preserving the confidentiality and security of sensitive health information for authorized healthcare professionals. Businesses can embrace this innovative approach leveraging the cloud for containerization, data storage, exchange, analytics, and security for a secure healthcare future.




Containerization is an important technological feature of cloud computing allowing applications to run in the cloud in an encapsulated environment independent of the underlying infrastructure. The containers are driven by the principle of isolation. Much like the vials for specimen containers serve as an isolated environment for each application ensuring their security from external attacks. Also orchestration tools like Kubernetes offer a mechanism for centrally monitoring containers. All these ensure great data security and uninterrupted service surviving internal glitches or external attacks.




Pseudonymization safeguards sensitive data by substituting identifying details with pseudonyms or aliases. This reversible process, endorsed by GDPR, enables re-identification when needed. It streamlines personal data processing, curbing unauthorized access and exposure risks, making data suitable for analysis while maintaining anonymity. It is not in the capacity of traditional data infrastructure to be involve in such cumbersome data engineering stuff. Cloud with its extensive computing capabilities makes it easy to mask the identity of healthcare users ensuring better compliance.


Ecosystem of Security Partners


Normal security systems of proprietary data infrastructure tend the sole responsibility of security to the organization or the appointed vendor. Public cloud like AWS follows a shared responsibility model towards security. They have their internal security protocols to ensure compliance for millions of customers using their infrastructure. Additionally, they come with a pool of security expert partners and engineers who are up to date with the latest trending threats and security issues. Keeping up with the security trends for a healthcare business is challenging which is not their forte. The risk always stays that eventually, their protocols turn obsolete and firewalls get breached one day leading to severe compliance issues. Sharing the security strategy of the cloud and leveraging the expertise of security partners of a public cloud platform ensures they maintain a state-of-the-art defense posture and significantly minimize the chance of getting into compliance issues.




Healthcare in cloud is an imperative tech adoption to deliver premium patient care and ensure robust data security. The cloud opens up the path of increasing patient coverage, reducing time to respond, and innovating with new patient care solutions. It might be burdening for a healthcare SMB to maintain an in-house team of cloud professionals to maintain their cloud applications. Such a scenario can be effectively served by a third party cloud managed service team who can help with all their cloud and IT related issues while the medical professionals can focus on the core services of patient care.


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