Technologies | November 9, 2023

Why use Cloud Computing in Healthcare industry? The key benefits of cloud computing

What advantages of cloud computing is? Read the article and discover the key benefits of cloud computing in healthcare.

industrial cloud computing in healthcare

This case stirred up emotions and was widely discussed in the media… In 2017 at Cedar Rapids Hospital in the US, a medical technician illegally accessed the data of her ex-partner (who was not her patient at the time) and used it against him. Confidential photos of this person that only attending physicians should have access to fall in the hands of people outside the hospital and get distributed via Facebook. This way they also reach the treated person. The case found its finale in court in 2021.

None of us would like to see our confidential medical data leaked online. As the number of medical data grows, it becomes a challenge for medical facilities not only to store and process it smoothly but also to protect patients from similar incidents. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of cloud computing in the context of data storage and protection in healthcare and the most significant advantages thereof.

Why adopt cloud computing in healthcare?

Year after year, the amount of data produced globally is growing at an alarming rate and, according to Statista research, will reach 181 zettabytes of data (1.81 × 1014 gigabytes) in 2025! Healthcare information is inextricably linked to the issue of Big Data. Data on medical patients, tests, diseases, data on treatments and more… how do we store them efficiently and provide patients and doctors with fast and secure access? In the article, we will guide you through the applications and the key benefits of cloud computing.

Understanding the role of cloud technology in the healthcare industry

The use of cloud services has become a real game-changer in recent years in many industries including healthcare. The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 has only underscored the need for access to telemedicine services and more efficient solutions to better serve patients.

According to Gartner’s predictions, global spending on the cloud was expected to skyrocket to almost $600 billion in 2023 alone. It looks like the sky is not the limit for the cloud. There’s no doubt that cloud computing is one of the hottest disruptive cloud-based trends. But what exactly is cloud computing? And how can the healthcare industry benefit from it? We take a deeper dive in the text below.

What is cloud computing?

According to Microsoft, the leading provider of cloud services:

“Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence – over the Internet”.

This approach facilitates acceleration on a scale never available before the cloud era: vast computing resources are at your fingertips in just a few minutes, without the need for labor-intensive set ups. The 4 most important benefits of cloud computing in business include:

  • Cost-effectiveness – minimizing the need for investments in both hardware and software.
  • Ease of administration – unburdening companies from processing tasks related to establishing and operating on-premises data centers, managing servers and taking care of power and cooling, which are no longer their responsibility.
  • Security – taking advantage of secure protocols and globally trusted cloud solutions. Cloud providers apply policies and technologies to provide maximum security and protect sensitive customer data and their critical applications.
  • Speed and better performance – cloud providers invest in state-of-the-art data center equipment which translates into minimized network latency for applications and better performance.

Challenges in patient care & the importance of cloud computing in the healthcare industry

81% of medical service providers say that digital transformation is the major priority for medical facilities to supercharge operations. Now that we’ve outlined what cloud computing is and what opportunities it offers, it’s time to get down to specifics. Cloud computing in healthcare offers numerous benefits, of which the key ones are laid out below.

Challenge #1 – Quick and seamless access to medical data

In healthcare, real-time access to data is required in most cases. Picture this: a doctor needs to check a patient’s history in the healthcare system to implement a treatment plan, but doesn’t have access to it due to technical issues. Of course, medical facilities keep data in the form of traditional records, but in an era of difficult access to doctors (e.g., in Germany, there are 4.3 doctors per 1,000 patients, while in Poland the respective figure is 2.3) and queues in health facilities, manually searching through records is time-consuming and can even make the situation worse.

Electronic health records (EHR) software allows for swift access to patient data gathered from multiple sources, making it possible to plan treatments, collaborate and even communicate faster. With cloud-based EHR, medical institutions can easily analyze data, generate near real-time insights from healthcare data and share it if needed.

Challenge #2 – Cloud storage in Healthcare

The average hospital generates 50 petabytes (50 000 000 gigabytes) of data annually, according to HealthTech Magazine. A single patient generates 80MB of medical data every year, other sources say. By 2025, the annual growth rate of healthcare data is projected to exceed 35%. Big Data storage is an important issue for the healthcare sector to address.

Self-hosting has its limitations. The cloud, in turn, makes it possible to store data in a flexible and scalable way and with a customized capacity plan. Cloud storage in healthcare allows you to take advantage of remote servers to keep and manage Big Data over the internet with the appropriate computing capacity instead of using local servers and drives.

Challenge #3 – Securing patient data

An International Data Corporation report revealed that investments made on IT in healthcare are among the lowest of all industries. It’s one thing to secure sensitive patient data from hackers – and it’s another one to control who has access to that data and under what rules (as in the example of Cedar Rapids Hospital cited above). As an indication of how important this aspect is, let’s say that 20% of all data security breaches in 2020 took place due to the actions of insiders in the medical sector.

Cloud providers also allow affordable access management, for example, based on Active Directory, so we can be sure that confidential data will not fall into the wrong hands.

They invest in state-of-the-art security technologies and protocols to ensure that patient data is safe from unauthorized access.

The key benefits of cloud computing in healthcare

  • improved data security – cloud solutions can support data protection and facilitate compliance with the restricted data privacy regulations of HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), legislation on securing e-information pertaining to patients’ health (EPHI).
  • enhanced interoperability – by integrating medical services with the cloud, medical facilities can share data effectively and provide access to information throughout the medical ecosystem.
  • better disaster recovery – thanks to cloud services, data recovery in case of any failure is simplified. Cloud providers make it easy to switch between backup regions in the event of unpredicted circumstances and to recover data efficiently.
  • secure and efficient sharing of medical records – medical data management tools allow not only the collection of this information, but also budget control and communication via email or chat. From the patients’ point of view, functionalities such as online appointment scheduling and document sharing are important, making access to medical care easier.
  • automated backend operations – cloud-based automated solutions (IPA – intelligent process automation) can speed up and streamline the exchange of information and gaining insight into medical data (PHI – Patient Health Information).
  • easy creation and maintenance of telehealth applications – telemedicine applications are one of the leading HealthTech trends. With the cloud platform, creating Telehealth apps (and apps in general) is a piece of cake. The Azure cloud, for example, provides a platform that facilitates the development of modern native applications in the cloud. This is a revolution that allows you to leverage the potential of the DevOps approach and apply the most efficient architectural models (e.g., microservices).


Demographic changes in society (i.e., an increasingly elderly population) and technological developments have laid the basis for a thriving medical technology market in Europe. COVID-19 has accelerated this process. We can see opportunities in various segments in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland. The shortage of skilled professionals to apply technological solutions, combined with the growing openness to IT outsourcing, continues to drive demand for external IT services. Today customers know more about the available technology and products, so their needs and expectations are more specified. There is an emerging need to work with expert technology partners who, based on their experience, have industry know-how and are well-versed in the healthcare sector.

Małgorzata Mierzwa-Trybuła,
Digital Transformation Consultant on HealthTech at Inetum

Why use cloud computing in healthcare organizations? Summary

Having access to benefits such as improved data security, interoperability, and the reliability of cloud services should prompt healthcare providers to take advantage of the wonderful capabilities of cloud computing. This disruptive technology makes medical record-sharing faster and remarkably secure, all of which is crucial for creating a patient-friendly environment. After all, the human aspect is most important in the medical industry. Technology is there to make life easier for patients and healthcare professionals, providing them with a greater understanding and better ways to guide the diagnosis and treatment process.

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