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Cloud-Native Development in Healthcare: Benefits and Challenges

What is cloud-native technology? A simple definition would be that cloud-native architecture and technologies are approaches to designing, constructing & operating workloads that are built in the cloud and take complete advantage of the cloud computing model. A cloud-native platform is designed, optimized, and operated in the cloud. Since the platform is built in the cloud, cloud-based tools are fast and scalable. This technology offers robust functionality, seamless interconnectivity & optimized business continuity. Cloud-native systems are constructed in the cloud from the scratch and give developers new and advanced deployment tools for rapid evolution of the enterprise’s overall architecture. They streamline complex infrastructure in design and administration.

Cloud hosting technology refers to cloud technologies that provide processing and storage for cloud solutions. The cloud-based infrastructure, software, and tools are maintained by the service provider. The cost is dependent on the user requirement and is variable.

With rapid changes and challenges in an evolving market, healthcare companies are having to adapt and innovate faster than before to improve their healthcare services by accelerating the digital transformation. This technology is gaining acceptance and is helping give better care delivery and improving the financial and operational outcomes. The benefits of going cloud-native are many and some of them are:

Ease of Going Digital

Cloud-native assists healthcare by easing the onboarding process and minimizing the use of internal resources. Healthcare organizations already utilizing cloud services and migrating to cloud-native platforms would find the process easier since most of the hardware, and software requirements would be taken care of. Since such cloud-native technology is flexible and scalable, healthcare ideas and plans can be taken to the market easily and respond faster to customer needs.

Analytics

Connected devices send out data continuously and the quantum of unstructured and structured data generated by the healthcare industry is huge. It is now a necessity to have a single platform system for data collection, preservation, access & compilation of data, and health professionals have now become increasingly aware of the need for such systems. The application of cloud computing in healthcare provides the ability to analyze data in real-time, which improves accessibility and workflows ensuring more proactive healthcare.

Data Security and Storage

Privacy and security are of utmost concern while migrating from legacy systems to cloud platforms. Cloud-native platforms provide an ideal solution for these concerns. Using cloud-native platforms can shift the focus from the software, hardware & infrastructure burden. It prevents data breaches and security hacks and ensures compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Customer Engagement

Cloud technology improves healthcare delivery and customer interaction. Using the cloud-native platform assures proactive customer care via video, text, audio, and automated chats while ensuring that resources are properly allocated between the patients and the physicians to enhance interactions and offer better diagnoses securely.

Workforce Interaction

The cloud-native architecture works extremely well between processes, people, and tools to enhance collaboration between the healthcare teams. It can help the organization with automatic attendance tracking, simplifying the hiring process, and assisting in staff and promotion management, including finance and resources management.

Scalability

Cloud-native is extremely flexible and scalable and offers advantages of DevOps best practices that can give the developers and the IT department a low-risk method to implement and also revert changes. Cloud-native offers pay-per-use models. Since these are cloud-based systems, infrastructure costs are reduced.

Considering the work environment in Covid-19 times and posting it, many healthcare organizations are shifting to cloud-based computing environments like cloud-native platforms. Some of the challenges in using these platforms are:

Security

Since cloud native platforms provide personalized features, safety, compliance, and security are dependent on the service provider. And security is the biggest threat to cloud computing platforms.

Standardization

Healthcare interoperability is one of the issues faced while transitioning to cloud-native or cloud computing platforms. Safe and clean error-free transfer of data from different platforms is an ongoing concern. Data transmission errors can lead to operational inefficiencies and patient problems.

Updates

Since cloud native is evolving and features keep on getting updated. Different providers offer different options leading to routine updating of the system which can create lags or slowdown in the workflow.

Different technologies give out different results. Cloud-native platforms are relatively new and some features may be used for the healthcare sector while some may not be so. Choosing the right cloud technology and applications of cloud computing by choosing the right provider is vital for taking the healthcare organization into a patient-centric company. The Covid-19 pandemic has given an extra thrust for companies to actively move from the legacy and traditional business models to technology-driven models using cloud-native platforms. The good overweighs the challenges and helps the healthcare organizations offer and deliver value to patients and their workforce.

Written By

A professional and security-oriented programmer having more than 6 years of experience in designing, implementing, testing and supporting mobile apps developed. Being techno geek, I love to read & share about the latest updates in technology including but not limited to IoTs, AI, application development, etc. In my free time, I like to play football, watch movies and explore new places. I have been learning mobile app development since 2012. With having a good understanding of programming languages, I develop native as well as web apps for both iOS & Android using latest tools & technologies. I am also having experience in both front-end & back-end development.

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