- The healthcare cloud market in the US and Europe is expected to grow between 10% and 30% by 2020, and in the United States reach $3.5 billion by 2020, up from $903 million in 2013, according an analysis by Frost and Sullivan.
- Benefits of cloud adoption include easier IT staff management, lower upfront costs, operational efficiency, on-demand access to data and quick deployment
- The cloud isn't perfect, however, and as the market grows, concerns over the security of the cloud and its performance pose barriers to adoption. Specifically, some privacy and security officers are worried that non-healthcare organization employees could access health data if they are employed by cloud providers.
As the cost of technology rises and government programs such as CMS' EHR Incentive Program take hold, a growing number of medical practices and other healthcare organizations are turning to the cloud for all of their health IT needs. And who can blame them? Maintaining on-premises servers and proprietary health information exchanges (HIEs) among other things is too expensive for most medical operations.
However, the privacy and security concerns noted by the Frost and Sullivan report are too big to be brushed aside. The onus, then, is on vendors to give healthcare organizations confidence that the technology they're peddling meets all required security specifications.
As Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Research Analyst Shruthi Parakkal noted in the report, there is a lack of clarity regarding data preservation and portability in case a healthcare provider or cloud service vendor suspends its cloud services affects uptake. Hence, cloud service providers must offer service level agreements guaranteeing reliability and data portability to attract consumers.
Parakkal, therefore, recommends "joining hands with industry experts to develop contracts between vendors and providers that clearly cover conditions on data access, retrieval and termination rights" to accelerate the move to cloud solutions in the US and European healthcare space.