Cloud computing helps bring quality to healthcare data

The growth of the cloud has had a significant effect on the healthcare industry in recent years, as doctors and nurses have enjoyed using project management software to plan their strategies for treating patients who need personalized medical care. The specific ways in which the cloud has advanced the healthcare field are numerous, but perhaps the most notable development is making big data available to medical professionals, giving them the information needed to devise specific methods for dealing with patients suffering from various ailments.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the cloud gives healthcare workers easier access to information they’ve never had at their fingertips before. OptumHealth, based in Golden Valley, Minnesota, is one example of this trend. Using a system called eSync to gather patient data and share relevant information with healthcare providers, the firm is able to expedite patient treatments and cut costs at the same time. The software is designed to search data clusters for inefficiencies and find gaps in patient care, helping medical professionals respond to minor issues before they evolve into bigger problems.

Linda Mower, a personal care counselor for OptumHealth, has been in the profession for 30 years, and she told Bloomberg that the system is helping her improve at her job, alerting her when a patient might need counseling or further medical attention. She had an experience in January where the software alerted her of a patient in New York experiencing chest pain, and one day later, he had triple bypass surgery that “probably saved his life.”

“You sometimes wonder if you’re making a difference,” Mower said. “Something like this lets you know you are.”

Cognitive computing has an effect
According to InformationWeek, computers will never fully replace doctors, but real-time analytics certainly have a place in the 21st century medical world. “Cognitive computing” is helping medical professionals make better decisions, and the technology is here to stay. IBM tells the news source that a confluence of four factors – social, mobile, analytics and cloud, or “SMAC” – will help inform the healthcare field moving forward.

“This new era of computing will require more innovation and invention,” IBM research fellow Kerrie Holley told the news source. “There’s a lot of machine-to-machine interaction that’s made possible because we’re beginning to exploit the Web as a programmable, open platform.”

There is of course still a place for complex human thought in the medical world, but increasingly, the cloud can help firms make sound decisions. BMI helps professionals in all industries leverage cloud use into better analytical thinking.