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How the cloud is reshaping the healthcare industry

How the cloud is reshaping the healthcare industry
October 19, 2021

While the COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted all businesses and industries, the healthcare industry seems to be the most impacted. Irrespective of the organization size, all players experienced a massive imbalance between demand and supply. The rising uncertainty and paradigm shift in the ways of working pushed enterprises to be more agile and flexible. The healthcare industry thus took a big leap towards a digital journey to survive in the new normal.

Trends in the healthcare industry

Strict COVID norms of social distancing and global lockdowns compelled the healthcare systems to work in a remote model. Consequently, an unexpected surge in demand for the telemedicine market was observed. More consumer-facing apps were developed to provide a unique platform for connecting patients to the doctor and store huge volumes of data. In McKinsey & Co. Consumer healthcare insights report1, healthcare service providers experienced 50 to 175 fold increases in their telehealth patient volumes since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Patients now prefer value-based services over volume-based services. They are consuming digital healthcare services that are easily accessible and provide a unique experience. The IoT-enabled fitness devices have empowered consumers and changed the way of monitoring the health of an individual. At the same time, modern technologies like Machine Learning have helped in accelerating drug discovery and innovating the ways of service delivery.  

Why do enterprises need the cloud?

The healthcare industry is one of the most regulated industries where enterprises must consistently deliver the standard quality of services. In the wake of the pandemic, rising human inefficiencies and shortage of manpower to handle the high demand forced enterprises to focus on the ways of scaling up their resources cost-effectively and efficiently. The enterprises were, however, unable to handle the increasing number of digital outputs from monitoring medical devices and the growing digitalization of medical records. There was an acute need to bring digital transformation in healthcare.  Soon big and small players in the industry realized the need to tap the potential benefit of healthcare cloud solutions because of the following array of benefits over the in-house client-server systems:

  • Economic benefits with the increase in productivity: The use of cloud in healthcare provides significant cost flexibility through its pay-per-use model. It saves capital expenditure and IT maintenance costs as the cloud service provider takes a considerable share of responsibility in maintaining infrastructure, which in turn reduces IT admin efforts in implementing and maintaining the IT systems.
  • On-demand functionality: The cloud scalability and on-demand functionality let the business scale up and scale down as per the requirement without worrying about the operational costs.  
  • Robust security: Patient’s healthcare records are sensitive data that require a secure and compliant platform. The cloud has inbuilt and customized security and policy controls that keep the data secure.
  • The digital advantage: The analytical and automation capabilities of the cloud have helped in mitigating the risk of human errors and inaccuracies by providing insightful analysis and reducing manual processes.

Although enterprises have realized that having a cloud strategy is the most viable solution to survive in a highly volatile and competitive environment, they are still hesitant to take the cloud journey. The migration of complex and rapidly evolving IT environments pose a hindrance. According to the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud report2, out of 750 respondents, 50% of respondents have reported that understanding application dependencies and assessing technical feasibility are the two major challenges in migration.

Our solution: How HCL Cloud Smart will help in healthcare transformation

Now, healthcare service providers must think of smarter approaches to transformation, instead of merely adopting cloud-first strategies. HCL Technologies has come up with the Cloud Smart strategy that rethinks on maximizing business value and reinventing customer experience to a new dimension. The HCL Cloud Smart amplifies the cloud benefits by implementing market-tested comprehensive solutions and delivering them to the customer via a robust partner ecosystem.

The Cloud Smart elements like Smart Consulting and Smart R&D help in understanding the complex customer environment so that migration strategy is aligned to organizational goals and is focused on continuous innovation. HCL understands that a cloud strategy cannot run successfully if healthcare service providers don’t have a cloud culture aligned with their business culture. Thus, HCL Cloud Smart also enables a cloud culture where employees are encouraged to take a risk and adapt to new ways of working.

Proof points

Due to its deep technical acumen and business understanding, HCL has helped a plethora of healthcare companies to embark on their cloud journey in the most seamless manner. For a US-based medical device manufacturing company, HCL built a predicted maintenance program that utilized predictive modeling and cloud edge computing technology. The program helped the company in reducing maintenance costs by 40% and boosting profitability by 9%.

In conclusion, by adopting the HCL Cloud Smart approach, organizations can expect a significant improvement in their productivity, agility, cost efficiency, and overall profitability.

 As it is rightly said by Bangambiki Habyarimana “The most successful men work smart, not hard”.

References

[1] Telehealth: A post-COVID-19 reality? | McKinsey

[2] 2021 State of the Cloud Report | Flexera