Cloud computing is revolutionizing health care. It isn’t just reducing the time and expense of researching and testing new life-saving medications and treatments. It’s also streamlining processes, reducing paperwork and increasing the quality of patient care. It allows medical professionals to make accurate diagnoses more quickly, better determine the best course of treatment, and monitor their progress more thoroughly.
Research and Development
Cloud platforms make vital information easily accessible from anywhere in the world. According to Kevin Julian, a managing director at Accenture Life Sciences, cloud computing “allows for real-time collection of data from around the world, providing better access to data from inside life sciences companies, as well as from the many partners they work with in the drug development process.”
One of the most game-changing benefits of cloud computing is that it removes many of the economic barriers to developing drugs for people that suffer from rare conditions. Specific patient populations are easier to find and clinical trials for new medications can be conducted more quickly. A process that once took up to a year can now be completed within a matter of weeks.
Cloud computing has also made the process of monitoring patient reactions to new medications more thorough. Electronic diaries and wearable devices allow medical professionals to monitor vital signs in real time, providing the most accurate patient feedback possible. The data collected, including any negative side effects, can then be used to make any necessary modifications to medications, dosages, and treatment plans.
According to Steve Rosenberg of Oracle Health Sciences, a global phase three drug trial conducted in up to 50 countries can cost $30 to $60 million dollars. Tarek Sherif of Medidata, a company that developed a cloud platform for clinical trials, has been able to save medical research clients up to 30% of that cost.
Cloud Therapy is another company that utilizes cloud computing to help doctors benefit from the astounding amount of research and medical literature available for diagnostic purposes. Distilling all the relevant information on a specific topic makes it possible to increase the speed and accuracy of the diagnostic process. When it comes to treating potentially fatal illnesses, time is of the essence.
The benefits of cloud computing aren’t confined to research and development. Cloud computing is also being used to improve patient care within individual practices. There are a number of software solutions designed specifically for healthcare professionals. These cloud-based services make it possible to streamline virtually every aspect of the treatment process, which means that doctors and staff have more time to focus on communicating with their patients. The more trust a doctor is able to build with their health care provider, the more likely they are to follow their advice.
Time-consuming repetitive tasks can be automated. Good cloud-based practice management systems enable medical professionals to schedule appointments, record patient information, create reports, process insurance claims, and send out bills – all from a single platform. Automatic reminder systems can be set in place ensure that no important details are overlooked.
Storing a patient’s complete health history, including contact information for their insurance companies, referring physicians, and other providers saves time. It also significantly reduces the possibility of medical error. Checking a patient’s record for symptoms, allergies, and current medications to cross-reference to avoid potentially harmful drug interactions can be done with the click of a mouse.
Many cloud-based services make it possible to securely access and share patient information with specialists across a wide variety of platforms and devices. A cross-platform application can be used with any operating system, including Microsoft Windows, Apple systems or Linux. Being able to access information from a tablet or smartphone as well as a desktop computer means that in a medical emergency, your doctor can access your medical information from anywhere. Certain practice management systems offer a HICAPS integration too, which makes it easier for everyone to make claims, send quotations to health funds to instantly get to know the benefits and make EFTPOS payments.
Every member of the medical community has benefitted from the powerful capabilities of cloud computing. It has saved scientific researchers and companies that develop and manufacture life-saving drugs valuable time as well as money. It has saved individual medical practitioners from unnecessary paperwork and potentially dangerous errors. But the most valuable thing that the instant access to vital information provided by cloud computing has saved is human lives.