The healthcare industry is one of the most fundamental walks of life for humanity. It helps to treat them and solves the most basic problems of life. But, despite the significant research that we have been able to do around the world and implement it on a massive scale in different sectors, healthcare is one that still needs a lot of work done.
Technology and Healthcare
The technologies and concepts that seemed like a distant idea are now realities and that doesn’t stop anything. Humans are continuously striving hard in different parts of the world to come up with even newer technologies and ideas that can have a more detailed impact on the existing way we do things. But, this doesn’t mean that the adoption of all existing technologies has been done successfully on a large scale across the world. For most parts of all the new things that we find in the world, they are just brought into as an idea and elaborated as a proof of concept. The rest remains in the hands of the government and private institutions to adapt and proliferate it to the different parts of the world.
The case is similar to the healthcare IT services. Ideas like artificial intelligence, cloud and machine learning are not now not alien to the healthcare industry but facing a lot of resistance from the existing experts. While there are people who are on board with it, there are many who believe that they will cause more harm than good.
Take AI for an example. Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the field of healthcare and imparting a sense of improved care services. Not many, but a few use cases of artificial intelligence have even surpassed the potential of doctors for identifying or diagnosing a particular disease in a patient. But, many believe that this is just one step away from the future that AI will be taking over doctors and removing the human touch from the healthcare industry.
After all, robots are already performing successful surgeries and acting aids to old age people who have nobody else to look after them. Be it a constant threat coming from the past or a formed opinion due to changing trends, people have different reasons to fear AI. Even back in the 1940s when AI was just a compilation of fancy-looking ideas, the American writer Issac Asimov laid the foundation of these laws that would protect the human race from advancing AI. One of these laws indicated that humans must never come in direct contact with AI, as it will impact them in one form or the other, whether for good or evil. But, here we are today, with things pretty much in control. Even though ideas like falling in love with an AI or humanoids forming an army and taking over governments thorough civil movements are debatable, it is safe to assume that we are very much protected from whatever harm it may pose.
Then comes the most anticipated cloud technology. As many benefits as the cloud can bring to the healthcare industry it can equally a challenge to not debate what might go wrong. Being on the cloud will not only make collaboration and research easier but also pose a great deal of threat to emerging organizations. The most common forms of the threat come from the aspect of cybersecurity.
For research to be carried forward and different institutions to collaborate, medical institutions and organizations will have to keep their data on the cloud. While this is far more convenient as compared to the laborious burden of carrying a full-scale infrastructure, it is equally challenging to keep the data safe over the cloud. Once it’s out there on the amazing phenomenon we know as the Internet, there is no going back. Predators like the cyber attackers are always on the lookout for new information and data that they can take advantage of. Therefore, is any carelessness is observed or vulnerability is left, the attack would be inevitable.
Moreover, the electronic health records of the patients are being digitized for greater efficiency and more understanding of the patient’s history. Not only are these relevant to taking medical decisions but also for various studies going on in the world. The only way for these electronic health records to reach out to different organizations is to be on the cloud. And that has risks of its own. Imagine what could happen if all the data falls into the wrong hands. What if somebody tampers with the data? Not only will it make the studies inconclusive causing the loss of intellectual property but also put the lives of the patient in jeopardy.
However, the future isn’t as catastrophic as it seems. With the right measures and precautions, data on the cloud can be one of the best decisions for the healthcare industry. Take the case of hospital management as an example. Most medical institutions find their staff running here and there and patients in long queues waiting to be addressed.
Not only is this underutilization of the existing resources but it also leads to mismanagement and one of the reasons behind the burnout of the medical staff. With Cloud in the picture, organizations can store all data related to their medical staff online and deploy machine learning prediction solutions on top of it to get to know an estimate of the footfall on any particular day. With this information and real-time update of the staff data, one can efficiently manage the resources available in a medical facility.
There can be a similar case for wearable devices, where real-time data of the patient can be stored on the cloud and any ups or downs in critical factors such as heart rate, blood pressure etc.can be alerted to a nearby medical center.
With cloud technology in the picture, the healthcare industry has more to look forward to. After all, the aim of all upcoming technologies isn’t to replace doctors but to humanize the industry to a greater extend and enable population health care considering the sharp rise in the world’s population. Unless technology is considered an aid, there is not much that the healthcare industry can do with the impending challenges facing it.