The health model disruption: COVID-19 as a catalyst

After a year characterized by being so atypical and unexpected for the vast majority of sectors, our colleague Patricia Moreno has prepared an exhaustive analysis of how one of the most relevant sectors and one that has had the greatest weight during 2020 has detected a clear need in cloud computing technology. Don’t miss this analysis, which details how cloud technology can enhance the quality of any service offered by the healthcare sector.

In 2020, the year of the data revolution, we have put our convictions, our beliefs and our systems to the test. We can say that we are not the same as twelve months ago, which shows the great capacity of human beings to adapt to any contingency. For the technological world, 2020 will not only be the year of the Pandemic, it will be the year of change. Analysts foresee a global growth in the Cloud Computing market for the Health Sector.

The market in Cloud Computing, a look at Healthcare

According to Research and Market, the global market for Healthcare Cloud Computing is expected to reach $64.7 billion by 2025. In 2020, according to this same source, the market would reach 28.1 billion dollars. A compound annual growth rate of 18.1% in Healtchcare is predicted for the 2020-2025 time horizon.

The factors to which Research and Markets attributes this growth are: the technological advances associated with the sector, the growing adoption of IT solutions for Healthcare and the advantages of using the cloud.

It is clear that cost optimization, scalability, improved performance and data access, as well as the ability to get an infrastructure up and running in minutes, make the cloud the preferred choice for businesses that handle large volumes of data, as well as those that simply need to deploy a web without large computing requirements. The possibility of migrating to public clouds makes the market grow in double digits. Even so, in certain sectors, such as the health sector, there are still complex regulations and security requirements that slow down the market.

According to this same source, the predictions for this year 2021 in the global Cloud Computing market are of 295 billion dollars due to the impact of COVID-19. This would correspond to a 12.5% growth compared to 2019, including the changes in the predictions produced by COVID-19.

Now, what we are most concerned about is where our data will be. Will it be safe, will it comply with all current regulations, will I always have it at my disposal in case of any contingency?

The use of data is increasingly relevant and the opportunities that arise in the health sector are endless. The computing needs are, therefore, increasing. The possibility of generating patterns in patients with similar symptoms, the study of the human genome, numerous investigations in cases of transplants. We need an increasingly large amount of data.

Some of those forces of change that we envisioned in 2019 as the future and thought would take years to arrive: they are here, and they have come to stay. We have seen how data and its analysis are crucial in any research. They are also crucial for the treatment of our diseases. And, as a result, the capacity to calculate and store it becomes essential. The possibility of not having everything, generate safe models.

According to the Deloitte Insight report “2020 global health care Outlook“: virtual health helps stakeholders to easily access relevant data, improve the quality of the care system and provide value.

With virtualized health systems, we can improve clinical outcomes, enhance patient loyalty, improve access to the entire medical pool, reduce costs, and improve efficiency and coordination of care.


The future is hybrid

In the words of Joe Kaplovitz, chief technology officer of Kaplan Companies at the annual Vanson Bourne and Nutanix ECI (Enterprise Cloud Index): “Standards are lacking. If I take the time to figure out how to improve, say, Azure, I’ll stay there, because it’s too much time to learn multiple proprietary cloud platforms”; this is where expert companies in multi-cloud environments like Enimbos come in. Leaving everything in the hands of public cloud professionals allows you to focus on what is important: your business, handing over the responsibility of cost optimization and data efficiency to experts who will offer you technological support according to your needs. This allows us to enjoy the Cloud environment and take advantage of all the benefits that a public cloud offers.

According to the ECI, currently just under 12% of global companies say they run a hybrid cloud and no other IT infrastructure. Only 18 percent still run exclusively traditional datacenters that are not cloud enabled.

According to predictions by the Enterprise Cloud Index, the public cloud will experience short-term growth. However, in the medium term (3-5 years), the majority of adoption will be of hybrid cloud models. Furthermore, no model other than the Cloud is expected to grow after five years, as we can see in the figure below, obtained from the ECI.

The cloud, a priority in the Government

During the pandemic we have seen how the correct use of data helped us to make more or less accurate predictions about the time horizon and incidence of SARS-CoV-2, this makes us visualize that it is necessary to store and process this data for future predictions, as well as to have a much more capable health system. To this end, the Government has included the cloud data network and the modernization of Primary Healthcare in its Digital Agenda 2021, with an increase in the budget allocation largely due to European funds, from 15 million euros in 2020 to 277 million in 2021. The journal Redacción Médica, publishes: “the aim will be to analyze the data in health and, subsequently, to apply them to clinical practice and research. In addition, this project will be linked to the new national strategy of artificial intelligence and personalized medicine”.


The impact of the pandemic on the health care sector

Arielle Trzcinski, Forrester’s senior analyst, says that “the pandemic will forever change the way consumers seek and receive health care,” “while it will demonstrate the value of virtual care in a crisis, it will also demonstrate the effectiveness of ongoing chronic care management,” she explained. According to ComputerWorld magazine, this analyst stated that “this moment will have a lasting effect on the adoption of virtual care and will accelerate the shift from in-person care to first virtual participation for multiple conditions and use cases. And yes, the predictions stated that the health care system would change in the medium term, the challenge is that these changes that have emerged in the short term come to stay. Let them not be a patch, but the definitive solution. Understanding as definitive the term until a new revolution appears.

The challenges that medical services and technology service providers have had to face are unprecedented. ComputerWorld publishes in the words of Mike Baird, president of Amwell’s client solutions: “Typically, we spend two to four months deploying and implementing a system for a healthcare system; there is a lot of unification, we want to be integrated into their EHRs (electronic health record systems), etc. Baird himself says that in the current situation there was no time for such a slow process and they had to get their offer up and running in “three or four days.


Cloud Security: Essential for Business Healthcare

Security and compliance models are basic to the strategic decisions that are made in companies about which infrastructure investment to make. Privacy, compliance and security become critical when choosing a particular private infrastructure or cloud. Public clouds must ensure that companies comply with regulations, or else they will always opt for the implementation of private data centers. This happens especially in sectors that handle sensitive information such as the health sector.

The cloud not only hosts almost immediately new loads, but also provides flexibility and has the option of continuing in the cloud or repatriating loads, thus allowing the business to hybridize on-premise and cloud. In the Enterprise Cloud Index, 73% of respondents in 2019 said that cloud-based repatriation is commonplace. According to this study, nearly three-quarters of respondents had taken some applications back from the public cloud to their on-premise infrastructures. In addition, 22 percent of those surveyed said they had moved five or more applications from the cloud. The main reasons were security and the requirements imported from complex regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, today clouds are becoming the preferred choice for this reason, as they meet some of the most demanding ISO and Security certifications in the Healthcare sector. In this way, the business does not have to worry about its private infrastructure complying with the requirements established by the regulations.

Confidential Computing, one of the 33 technologies in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Security, 2020, could help resolve many of the issues raised. According to Gartner, by making critical information invisible to third parties, including the host, it potentially removes the remaining barrier to cloud adoption for highly regulated enterprises in the financial services, insurance and healthcare sectors. Gartner expects this technology to be deployed regularly over the long term (five to ten years).


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