A Survey of the State of Cloud Computing in Healthcare

Sanjay P. Ahuja, Sindhu Mani, Jesus Zambrano
2012 Network and Communication Technologies  
Analysts, researchers and organizations alike seem to agree that cloud computing will be a defining trend in the coming decade impacting wide range of businesses and how those businesses are practiced. Large technology companies are already investing millions of dollars in building infrastructure, services, tools and applications to facilitate cloud computing for consumers, organizations and businesses to use and take advantage. It remains to be seen how cloud computing will impact the
more » ... e business since it is very diverse, complex and unique and presents several challenges such as protecting members health records in addition to following HIPAA guidelines set by federal compliance regulations. In addition to these the rising cost of healthcare solutions is another major concern. Efforts are being made to reduce these costs for consumers and IT will play a big role in achieving it and also improving clinical and quality outcomes for patients. It will be very interesting to see how cloud computing will address and contribute towards these issues in the healthcare industry. The purpose of this paper is to explore the current state and trends of cloud computing in healthcare. Since the real life businesses and organizations normally build applications in quite a complex environment that involves networking, security, physical servers, firewalls etc. and transactions worth millions of dollars, they expect same or higher level of service provided by the cloud service providers and the cloud so their data is protected and the businesses are not negatively impacted. More and more tools are being built on the Internet that is important to run a business. Healthcare industry has been one of the businesses that traditionally repelled outsourcing mainly because of the security and privacy concerns. The member's privacy and medical records are highly sensitive and the companies spend millions in protecting them while following the federal regulated guidelines. However, rising medical costs might change the way this business is performed. Moving to the Cloud Cloud computing can play a critical role in containing healthcare integration costs, optimizing resources and ushering in a new era of innovations. Current trends aim towards accessing information anytime, anywhere, which can be achieved when moving healthcare information to the cloud. This new delivery model can make healthcare more efficient and effective, and at a lower cost to technology budgets (Horowitz, 2011), but also, it brings certain obstacles due to concerns related with safeguarding confidential patient information and www.ccsenet.org/nct Network and Communication Technologies
doi:10.5539/nct.v1n2p12 fatcat:4t27tpyvfzh7fa2w6lsm33r3eq