Few industries are as uniquely placed to benefit from cloud technology like the healthcare industry. As public expectations increase with rising technology application, the need for a comprehensive cloud service is not just an option, but an absolute necessity. The need of the hour is for a cloud service that is easy to deploy, but can support a wide range of functions, while offering the most cost-effective storage solutions.
The growth of cloud services
Experts predict that cloud SaaS in healthcare will be one of the biggest growth stories in cloud technology in the immediate future. By the end of 2017 healthcare SaaS will account for two-thirds of all cloud spending. This will only increase in the next few years.
Driving this growth will be the IoT and its rapid expansion. Cloud SaaS will only get more intelligent, specialized and patient-centric. In short, as IoT becomes an integral part of our life, cloud SaaS will expand further, becoming more comprehensive, shaper and efficient. It will drive healthcare investments, policies and services deployment.
It also means that cloud service in healthcare must include the wide spectrum of technology usage today and its resultant inflow of patient data. Not only must it deal with data flow from multiple devices, it must also facilitate data analytics, while ensuring a secure framework. The need for reliability in healthcare cloud is critical. Any disruption or failure at the backend can prove fatal for someone.
Azure and Healthcare
One of the top players in cloud SaaS is Microsoft’s Azure. Apart from Microsoft support, its features make it ideal for healthcare applications. It encourages collaboration, is flexible and economic. It is the cloud service that can bring together all your devices under one umbrella. Let’s see some of the benefits that Azure can bring into healthcare services:
Creating a personalized care infrastructure: Ideally, hospitalization should be the last resort. In fact, a good healthcare regime means visits to the clinic are kept to the bare minimum. One of the leading technologies in this is the sensor-based devices that monitor our basic health parameters — from our pulse to blood sugar.
Azure is uniquely designed to be applied in this rapidly emerging field. The Azure cloud analytics can be designed with built-in parameters that are triggered whenever a threshold is crossed. Microsoft Health, one of its tools, gives useful information on health-related matters. The dashboard on Azure makes it ideal for recalling and analyzing data.
This is a prime concern when deciding on any healthcare cloud service. Given the high probability of data breach and the sensitive nature of the data itself, security becomes critical. A good security framework assumes that a breach is inevitable. So, a top-line security framework may be essential, but even more important is the backup and recovery.
Azure Security scores over others in all three parameters – security features, backup and recovery mechanisms. It follows the internationally laid regulations to ensure that all partnering technologies are compliant to existing norms. Additionally, Microsoft has its own accreditation policy to ensure that users are not easily duped. Security features include multi-factor authentication, encryption of stored and moving data, network segmentation and risk mitigation.
Compliance with Office 365:
You cannot have a cloud SaaS that does not work with existing technology and this is where a Microsoft product always wins. For instance, the popularity of Office 365 gives Azure a distinct edge over any other cloud service. Office 365 was created as platform to encourage collaborative teamwork. A number of collaborative and functional tools like SharePoint, Skype and OneNote are considered almost essential for any working professional. This has many benefits for the implementing organisation. It makes deployment far easier because most employees and patients will already be on some form of MS software. With Microsoft’s impressive associate training programs, finding expertise is also easier. This includes independent cloud vendors and consultants. It also creates a massive support structure of users and backup services.
The Azure cloud solutions support a number of programming languages and frameworks. These include not just MS tools, but also third-party software. This gives it an edge in deployment and collaboration. The cost of implementing Azure is brought down because of the ease with which it can be seamlessly integrated into the running software or mobile device system.
Azure was also designed to be scalable, growing as the organisation and its users grow with time.