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Healthcare Cloud Services: 5 Uses You Didn’t Know About

By Morris Panner

- Healthcare cloud services are opening up endless, new windows of opportunity for providers and patients alike. It’s no secret that today’s healthcare industry has become more digital, more collaborative, more patient-centered and more data-driven than ever before.

While the sector’s technology infrastructure and systems have traditionally been highly fragmented across the industry, healthcare professionals around the globe are quickly learning from other industries, including financial services, how to harness the cost and agility benefits of the cloud.

Results of a recent 2014 HIMSS Analytics Cloud Survey show the widespread adoption of cloud services among healthcare organizations across the US, with 80 percent of 150 participants reporting they currently use cloud services. The survey also shows a positive growth outlook for cloud services – almost all healthcare organizations currently using cloud services say they plan to expand their use of these tools.

The cloud already helps medical providers and patients around the globe collaborate better and offer more timely diagnoses.Medical imaging, for example, is one of the most mature uses of cloud in healthcare. Subscribing to a cloud solution for storing and sharing the huge data files involved in medical imaging can save hospitals, physicians and other organizations in the healthcare value chain heavy, up-front investments in high-capacity systems, while also boosting speed and efficiency.

Here are five other areas in the industry that benefit from implementing healthcare cloud services:

READ MORE: How Automation, Orchestration Impact Healthcare IT Security

Facilitate remote reads for telestroke victims. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the US, and physicians say time is very important when treating a stroke. In fact, a victim who is treated within three hours of a stroke has a significantly lower risk of permanent brain damage or death than one who waits for treatment. An approach to treating vascular strokes that allows a neurologist to provide remote treatment for a stroke victim, telestroke is often used for medical consultations in rural areas. Thanks to the cloud, telestroke services are now being leveraged by larger, urban facilities to allow delivery of services to smaller hospitals and private physician offices.

Store historical priors for mammograms. Having long-term partners is critical when it comes to women’s healthcare, especially because physicians need access to images year after year. They also need to store massive amounts of data, and tend to need both a primary and secondary archive. The latest cloud technology has helped some healthcare centers build agile processes around image management. Using this type of technology makes it easy for medical professionals to push studies wherever they need to go, as well as easily obtain and keep priors orderly. And, when priors are received on a CD, much of this technology makes it easy to get those images into the system quickly.Once those images are up, they are added to the patient’s related studies so they can be easily accessed.

Assist in sports medicine for anywhere-access to patient exams. Cloud computing is a game changer in the world of sports medicine. With the latest in cloud technology, healthcare professionals now have the ability to bring medical diagnostic equipment, experience and real-time service to professional sports teams anywhere, anytime. In mere seconds, the highest quality scans afford team care providers the diagnostic confidence to make immediate diagnoses after quick image acquisition, processing and viewing. By teaming up with cloud-based platforms, today’s sports medicine doctors can access a wealth of medical data, including X-rays, blood tests, medications, and even video clips depicting injuries sustained during games.

Store personal health records for easy patient-access. Patients today are becoming more in tune with their health and they want to control their health records, analyze them and find out what the information means. This instant access to personal medical images (i.e., X-rays, MRIs and scans) and reports can easily be shared with other physicians, and also provide a more convenient way for patients to access and store their records.

Get second opinions virtually. Online image sharing portals for second opinion services offer patients access to specialized care without relying on travel. They make it easy for patients to securely upload complex medical images along with their associated reports, and to input information to seek a second opinion.

READ MORE: Healthcare Cloud Adoption Slow Due to HIPAA, Survey Finds

Morris Panner, DICOM Grid’s CEO, is an experienced software executive. Previously, Panner worked in healthcare IT, partnering to form an early teleradiology venture. He also has worked as a Federal Prosecutor for the US Department of Justice and as a corporate attorney with Wachtell, Lipton.

Moreover, Panner is on the Board and a past Chairperson of the software board of the Software and Information Industry Association. Panner also served as a Senior Advisor on Cyber-Security at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, as well as on the board of Drug Strategies, a not-for-profit dedicated to fighting addiction and drug abuse. He has been featured in the “Boss Column” of the New York Times and in Fortune, Business Week and other leading publications. Panner has a BA from Yale University and a JD from Harvard University.

 

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