A recent report finds that the fun is just beginning for healthcare in the cloud.
The cloud computing market is poised to expand by an estimated 20.5 percent over the next five years to become a $5.4 billion market by 2017, according to “Healthcare Cloud Computing Market – Global Trends, Challenges, Opportunities & Forecasts.” Healthcare spending on the cloud hovers around $1.8 billion as of 2011 despite market penetration of only four percent.
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“The market is witnessing a surge in the adoption of technology, and cloud computing is expected to bring about a revolution in the healthcare IT market,” MarketsandMarkets said in the report. It noted that healthcare organizations (HCOs) are expected to deliver more with fewer resources, which is helping to fuel the growth in cloud usage.
Some unique challenges slow the otherwise rosy outlook for healthcare in the cloud, however.
Healthcare data has very specific requirements when it comes to security, confidentiality, availability to authorized users, traceability of access, reversibility of data, and long-term preservation, the study noted. Cloud vendors must deal with these issues in a way that conforms with the changing regulatory landscape and existing regulations such as HIPAA and Meaningful Use.
The industry has been slow to adopt the public cloud, it added, instead choosing private or hybrid clouds due to privacy and security concerns. This also has slowed cloud adoption overall.
The study noted that North America is the largest market for healthcare cloud solutions, with the largest players currently being GE Healthcare, CareCloud, Carestream Health and Merge Healthcare. The market is fragmented and no player controls more than a five percent share.
The cloud offers a number of benefits for HCOs in addition to cost savings.
“Doctor’s clinics, hospitals, and health clinics require quick access to computing and large storage facilities which are not provided in the traditional settings,” the report noted. “Moreover, healthcare data needs to be shared across various settings and geographies which further burdens the healthcare provider and the patient causing significant delay in treatment and loss of time. Cloud caters to all these requirements thus providing the healthcare organizations an incredible opportunity to improve services.”
The scope of the report includes global healthcare cloud computing market by applications, global healthcare cloud computing market by pricing model, global healthcare cloud computing market by deployment model, global healthcare cloud computing market by component, global healthcare cloud computing market by service model, and healthcare cloud computing market by geography.
Edited by Brooke Neuman