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Why the Cloud is the future of integrated healthcare

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

The advantages of integrated healthcare are well known and studied. The concept traces its origins back to the 20th century, when Dr. Henry Plummer developed Mayo Clinic's integrated medical record system which allowed doctors to better share patient information with one another. Today, integrated providers such as Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente continue to be the top-rated healthcare systems in terms of outcomes, quality of care and patient-centric experience.


Unfortunately, the majority of patients do not belong to an integrated system. Today, the majority of patients must navigate a fragmented healthcare system, often being shuttled between providers in an uncoordinated fashion and with an incomplete health record. Quality of care and patient experience suffers greatly as a result.


The promise of the Cloud


In the perfect world of tomorrow, secure, cloud-based medical records would democratize the benefits of integrated care for all patients. Medical records would provide a complete view, incorporate data across providers and include data from diagnostic tests and monitoring devices. AI-powered services would assist providers by making medical records “smart”, improving the quality of care and patient journey through predictive analytics.

Providers also gain operational advantages from a cloud migration:

  • Capital costs go down; expenses become flexible

  • IT management costs are reduced; upgrades become seamless

  • Resources can be adapted quickly for changing needs

  • Offsite Backup, Compliance and Security is built-in

  • Interoperability of systems is truly attainable in the cloud


Past Challenges


Given all the potential benefits, why has the healthcare system been so slow to transform? The challenge of past attempts to integrate the healthcare system around electronic health record standards has been two-fold. Firstly, most providers have outsourced their EHR’s to a handful of companies which, due to competitive market dynamics are not proactive in enabling inter-operability. Secondly, economic necessity dictates that providers prioritize their operations around the requirements of billing and reimbursement, which can be at odds with integrated care.


The present COVID reality and Outlook


The necessities of the COVID crisis has created tremendous pressure to overcome the deficiencies of legacy systems. One example of this is the coordination of testing and the reporting of test results which requires real-time access to data across multiple sources.

The current crisis is also driving the adoption of cloud-based telehealth services which, in turn, are driving adoption of based cloud-services.


According to Gartner, hospitals alone plan to spend more than $5 billion on cloud computing by 2025. Legacy systems are being cloud-enabled by being ported entirely to the cloud or deployed in a hybrid manner.


The accelerating migration of health data to the cloud will provide fertile ground for cloud-based services in such opportunity areas as interoperability, security, privacy, risk prediction and prevention, real-time monitoring and intervention, workflow optimization, fraud reduction, value-based care, and personalization of care through genomics. The cloud enables telehealth, diagnostic and precision medicine technologies to be quickly integrated and scaled.


Taken together, this cloud-based economy of services will generate increasing value for the healthcare system, further driving the migration of health data to the cloud such that a tipping point for the cloud-based healthcare could be reached before 2025.

About HealthCloud.vc


We believe that by the end of this decade, cloud-based integrated care will be the standard of care. We support mission-driven founders leveraging cloud-based systems to improve the effectiveness and accessibility of healthcare. Our portfolio represents a new generation of enterprise SaaS companies using AI to unlock value by improving healthcare outcomes.


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