Student Dissertation

Agency : Cloud Computing; Healthcare Domain; Systematic Review; Healthcare IT; HMIS

Objective : The objectives of the study were to understand the current scenario & trends of cloud computing in healthcare, to identify the challenges and opportunities in cloud computing in healthcare, to compare cloud computing in healthcare among various locations and to analyze various healthcare IT products that utilize cloud computing.

Background : Cloud computing is an innovative way of delivering services and computing resources. Numerous experts consider that it can help to benefit health care research, improve health care services and evolve health information technology. This paper discusses the current trends and scenario of cloud computing in healthcare, to evaluate the opportunities and challenges of cloud computing in healthcare, comparison of cloud computing in healthcare among various locations and analyze various healthcare IT products that utilize cloud computing. Tactical planning could be used by an organization to determine its strategy, resource allocation and direction when it is decided to migrate to cloud based health services from traditional. The healthcare environment is evolving faster due to increased demand for providing high quality services for low cost and raised competition between healthcare providers. The technology is used to generate a network between doctors, patients and healthcare service provider by giving services, applications and by keeping the data in the cloud. With the deployment of smart sensors, there are opportunities to improve the quality of healthcare and their services whenever needed.

Methodology : A descriptive study design was applied in the study with a sample size of 50 to 80 articles, journals, e-books, projects and papers published on the topic, as a descriptive study is one in which information is collected without changing the environment (i.e., nothing is manipulated).

Findings : Cloud computing is an approach where many systems are connected to a private or public network to provide scalable infrastructure for application, data and storage of data. The recent advances with the emergence of cloud computing has majorly affected the various delivery models provided by it. For healthcare industry the best suitable option would be of SaaS as it is an economic and attractive solution as it will eliminate the need of a local IT express on a regular basis. It also reduces the cost of hardware, operating system and software development as they can be out sourced. The adoption is usually higher in the hospital EHR segment when compared to the ambulatory EHR segment, as hospitals have more budget compared to ambulatory clinics. However, in the coming decade adoption of ambulatory EHR is expected to grow considerably. The vendors try to place in front of the other vendor in terms of low cost of implementation, increase support, high interoperability, ease of use, security features and visual appeal whereas majority of vendor replacement occurs due to poor integration, cost of implementation, poor support from the vendor and difficult usability.

Recommendations :In the medical field adoption of cloud computing can improve various collaborative information issues and improve the quality of care at a reduced cost, benefiting both the patient and healthcare provider. Standardization of the cloud-based processes will bring an apparent advantage in terms of HIE across many healthcare providers leading to better results. With increase adoption of cloud computing there will be increase in challenges like interoperability and security concerns of sensitive information. The benefits added are counterbalanced by privacy, security and issues of trust. In addition to numerous technical issues that should be addressed before healthcare sector can completely adopt and trust the cloud.