- The global healthcare cloud computing market will hit $35 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.6%, according to a new BCC Research report.
- Of that amount, the network technology sector is expected to generate $4.2 billion in 2022, up from $2.6 billion last year.
- Fueling growth in cloud computing is increased demand for 24/7 anywhere access to patient data, images, reports and other healthcare information. North America will lead in overall spending as healthcare policies promote lower costs and outpatient care, according to the report.
The BCC forecast is the most optimistic to date. A recent Frost & Sullivan report predicted the global healthcare cloud computing market would reach $10 billion by 2021, while a Mordor Intelligence analysis projected $14.8 billion by 2022.
“Transitioning to a cloud-computing environment will be a daunting process, as many in healthcare systems still rely on handwritten notes and paper charts,” Michael Sullivan, senior editor for information technology at BCC Research, said in a statement. “Investing in cloud for healthcare providers represents a cultural change that will require time to realize, but even still BCC Research expects a much greater portion of total healthcare IT spending to migrate to cloud technologies.”
Barriers surrounding the cloud include patient privacy and data security concerns. Still, more than 80% of healthcare IT organizations use cloud computing to store and manage data in their networks.
Hospitals have been somewhat slow to migrate to the cloud, but increasingly providers are finding they lack the capacity to handle the volumes of real-time data used to assess safety and quality. While some healthcare organizations have taken an enterprise approach to cloud computing, using it to speed data sharing and reduce costs, most that have embraced it use a hybrid system combining on-premise data storage with the cloud.
The cloud has also been promoted as a way for small physician practices and organizations with limited IT capabilities to support value-based care and meet MACRA requirements, such as being able to electronically exchange patient information beyond the walls of the practice. In November, Meditech launched a cloud-based EHR for critical access hospitals, with the aim of improving workplace efficiency and quality of care.