5 Ways the Healthcare Imaging Cloud Will Change In 2015
By Morris Panner, CEO, DICOM Grid
Did you know that, according to the Dell Global Technology Adoption Index, approximately 96 percent of healthcare organizations are using or considering using the cloud? In fact, healthcare organizations that are already using the healthcare cloud have reduced their IT costs by an average of 20 percent annually.
In today’s climate of interconnected medical systems, the cloud is becoming a vital tool for image management and exchange. As cloud computing takes the informatics industry by storm, now is the time to plan for new technologies. From teleradiology and patient portals, to hybrid architecture and mobile adoption, here are five ways the healthcare cloud will gradually change in 2015.
- Hybrid Models.
One of the major factors to consider when assessing your image management strategy is whether to utilize on-premise architecture, or a cloud-based system. With the rise of hybrid cloud architecture you no longer have to choose. In 2015, more organizations will be looking to adopt hybrid architecture to solve the dilemmas of large-scale image management. Hybrid models provide an attractive and innovative option for institutions that want to maintain some data onsite, while gaining the flexibility and rapid iteration of the cloud.
- Going global.
The medical industry is broadening its international presence, especially since people in individual countries are becoming more intertwined through social media outlets and other forms of online communication. The advancement of cloud technologies in the healthcare landscape enables doctors to increase collaboration, grow their referral base, and improve communication with patients. With cloud technology, organizational silos will diminish and medical systems around the world will be able to more readily communicate and transfer information.The success of teleradiology, for example, is largely a result of enhanced medical image exchange platforms. In fact, teleradiologists were among some of the early adopters of cloud technology. This field relies heavily on the seamless and easy transport of medical images between disparate locations. Radiologists who provide diagnostic-imaging services remotely have been a driving force in cloud implementation in healthcare. This trend is sure to continue in 2015.
- Patient Portals.
More than ever before, patients are becoming more in tune with their health and want to control their health records, analyze them and learn what the information means. So the question then becomes how should your patients access those images? A new theme this year will be private labeled patient portals for second opinions. 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 credit card information to seek a second opinion. Integration of a private labeled patient portal into a second opinion website can make the entire process of collecting image data seamless for both the patients and the medical staff.
- Mobile accessibility.
Prior to tablets, doctors typically could only view medical images from specific workstations or hospital computers. Mobile devices have put cloud technology right at our fingertips at all times. With the use of mobile devices, patient images and information can now be accessed from any location, at anytime. And in “on-call” situations, physicians can make preliminary assessments immediately, no matter where they are located.This real-time acquisition process is especially critical in emergency situations. For example, instead of rushing into the office to view an image, medical personnel can make preliminary diagnoses right from home. In larger institutions, mobile viewers allow multiple doctors to view the same studies simultaneously, which is especially useful for consultative purposes. Emerging cloud technologies in 2015 will continue to make ubiquitous access to imaging on any device a reality using nothing more than a zero-footprint, HTML 5 viewer.
- Reduced Skepticism.
In 2015, providers who have previously shied away from the cloud in the past will likely come around to the idea of online medical image exchange. Even more important, the business leaders at major healthcare institutions will start to demand cloud-based solutions from their IT teams. Coupled with reduced skepticism, a main driver behind cloud adoption will be the manifest business benefit of the cloud: As cloud technologies dominate in other industries, healthcare is following the trend. As a result, healthcare IT leaders will be under pressure to provide solutions and assurance in the months to come.
About the Author: Morris Panner, DICOM Grid’s CEO, is an experienced software executive, having recently built and sold an industry-leading business process software company, OpenAir, Inc., to Larry Ellison’s on-demand software company, NetSuite (NYSE:N). Morris built the company from inception to a global company with Fortune 500 clients. Previously, Mr. Panner had worked in healthcare IT, partnering to form an early teleradiology venture, and also has worked as a Federal Prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice and as a corporate attorney with Wachtell, Lipton, where, among other things, he represented major pharmaceutical companies.