Healthcare organisations moving to cloud computing at a pace

Global healthcare organisations will increase their spending on cloud computing services by 20% a year until 2020

Global healthcare organisations will increase their spending on cloud computing services by 20% a year until 2020, when the value of the investments will be more than $12.6bn.

A report from Persistent Market Research said investments by IT suppliers and the popularity of wireless and cloud technologies are driving cloud computing in the global healthcare market. But the organisation also warned there is a lack of cloud computing skills in the sector.

According to the research, cloud computing – or hosted medical services – spending in global healthcare was $4.2bn in 2004, but this will grow by 20% every year until 2020, reaching $12.6bn.

The three main types of cloud computing service in healthcare are infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service, and include public, private and hybrid clouds.

One of the latest trends to have been observed in the global healthcare cloud computing market is the increasing use of mobile devices for delivering healthcare services.

But there are major challenges to overcome around cloud computing for healthcare organisations, the report warned.

“Factors such as high cost involved in the implementation of clinical information systems and a lack of security and privacy of patients' information restrain the global market for healthcare cloud computing,” said the report. 

Interoperability issues also negatively impact the growth of the market, according to the report.

North America has the largest cloud computing market share and by 2020 its spending on cloud services will reach $5.7bn. 

Cloud-based healthcare applications include electronic medical records, picture archiving and communication systems, pharmacy information systems, radiology information systems and laboratory information systems.

The cloud's resiliency and high availability contribute to many experts' belief that it is a cost-effective alternative to an on-premise storage implementation.

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