- The global market for healthcare cloud computing is on track to hit $10 billion by 2021, according to a new Frost & Sullivan report.
- Driving growth is the need to store the massive volumes of data resulting from increased demand for system efficiencies, the shift to value-based care and the need for more collaboration among healthcare organizations.
- “One major industry game-changer will be read-world data,” Natasha Gulati, digital health research manager at Frost & Sullivan, said in a statement. “The volume of unstructured medical and health data that is generated outside of clinical settings is growing exponentially, while the need for such data sets is even direr among providers, pharmaceuticals, medical technology vendors, government, and university researchers.”
Cloud computing is hot. A recent Mordor Intelligence report predicts the market will reach $14.8 billion by 2022, up from $4.7 billion in 2016. Advantages of the cloud include ease of access, the ability to store and manage vast amounts of data, faster implementation, enhanced interoperability and pay-as-you-go financing.
The cloud has also been touted as a way for small practices and organizations with limited IT capabilities to promote value-based care and meet MACRA requirements, such as the ability to electronically exchange patient information beyond the confines of a practice. And more and more hospitals and health systems are replacing brick-and-mortar data centers with the cloud.
One area that could see significant growth is applications that leverage de-identified patient data that is culled from and analyzed at multiple points of care, the Frost & Sullivan report says.
Most healthcare organizations that have embraced the cloud use a hybrid system, combining on-premise data storage with the cloud. But some have taken an enterprise approach, using cloud computing to speed data sharing and reduce costs.
An IDC Health Insights report, published earlier this year, offers guidance on developing a cloud strategy that can help organizations optimize their return on investment.
Interest in the cloud has spawned a number of recent collaborations, including Change Healthcare and Google’s plan to develop cloud-based enterprise imaging solutions. Amazon and Cerner also are reportedly close to a deal that would leverage Amazon’s cloud capabilities with Cerner’s HealtheIntent population health product.
Earlier this month, Meditech rolled out a new cloud-based EHR that is available for critical access hospitals via a monthly subscription.