Cloud technology supports the value-based healthcare transition

Posted on: November 30, 2017 by Ruud van der Loo

Cloud computing is changing the way healthcare providers -- doctors, clinics and hospitals -- deliver quality, affordable services to their patients. Indeed, providers have no choice but to embrace the cloud in some form. This transition is being driven by two forces: the business imperative to cut costs and improve the quality of care.

On the business side, providers are continually tasked to reduce their operational expenses while they struggle to contain rising infrastructure, administrative and pharmaceutical costs. At the same time, they face stringent government demands to improve the quality of healthcare and provide common standards in the industry.

On the patient side, providers must satisfy the demand for instant, top-quality access to healthcare services. Patients -- who are accustomed to the 24/7 availability and service from online retailers and financial institutions -- expect and even demand such access and services from their healthcare providers. People have become more involved in managing their own healthcare needs, which only complicates matters, and gravitate to the web for diagnosis, information and treatments.

Patients’ wants and desires translate sooner or later into healthcare providers delivering internet-based services that enable healthcare professionals to communicate with patients before, during and after they carry out procedures. Healthcare providers are increasingly turning to the cloud to address the business and patient needs of their rapidly-evolving environment.

Health cloud

I am convinced enterprise health clouds help healthcare organizations to become agile businesses. A cloud can allow them to both “drive patient insights with advanced analytics,” and to “engage customers with applications designed specifically for their needs.”

However, while most cloud platforms available today are horizontal, designed to meet the needs of any industry, I believe that a health cloud model best suited to drive innovation must also be:

  • Able to derive actionable insights from clinical, patient, provider, research, and other data sets
  • Designed to meet the evolving needs of the full healthcare ecosystem and value chain
  • Secure end-to-end, providing an environment of trust
  • Purpose-built for the needs of healthcare and life sciences organizations, including data governance, auditability, and interfaces for health data standards and systems
  • Compliant with relevant international privacy standards
  • Built in a quality management system (QMS), for organizations needing proof that the cloud meets stringent regulatory controls

Key to truly transform

In an increasingly complex and fragmented industry, basic security imperatives are not sufficient. The stakes are higher for sensitive health data, so the purpose-built cloud needs to go further eg. beyond basic HIPAA enablement.

Healthcare organizations and IT decision-makers also need targeted health data services at the core of their health cloud platforms. AI and analytics are required to both develop breakthrough applications, and deliver them to the deep specifications required to improve care. Paired with big health data, and the power of AI and cognitive computing, a purpose-built health cloud must offer a place to truly innovate.

Further, to truly transform care, enterprise health cloud solutions must be able to bridge the health value chain so that:

  • Life sciencescompanies can accelerate collaborative models and extend past drug discovery to enabling better patient care;
  • Providerscan become more adept at both managing patient populations and engaging them in their care;
  • Data scientistsbecome armed with the information they need to unlock insights, spur innovation and drive targeted action with stakeholders across the health ecosystem.

As we evolve the role of cloud computing in healthcare in support of value-based healthcare there is much to test and learn. We are pioneering work with healthcare leaders around the world, and eager to hear your take on the role of cloud computing in transforming healthcare.

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About Ruud van der Loo
Vice-President Global Head Healthcare Market at Atos
Ruud is Vice-President Global Healthcare Market at Atos and has worked for the company since 2008. Ruud has a clear vision on the benefits of digital transformation in healthcare and life sciences. He has worked with senior Executives in healthcare around the world on how to use technology to enable them to withstand challenges they face in the fast moving world and adopt speed, agility and flexibility. The Atos Healthcare program is set up to power the shift to precision medicine by leveraging the digital shockwaves like optimizing real-time clinical delivery and the orchestration of collaboration and tele-health. Ruud has a long track record in Healthcare IT Services, with more than 20 years in senior executive management positions. In those roles he has gained vast experience in developing national and international strategies and sharing best-practices. Ruud is a strong believer in the fact that IT plays an important, maybe even the most important, role in the transformation to Value Based Healthcare.