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Acting as a pillar of digital transformation in the healthcare sector, the cloud responds to several strategic challenges for medical structures. Its greatest strengths include better availability of information, increased speed of analysis of health data, improved communication between healthcare professionals, simplification of the patient pathway, optimization of costs, better resilience in the event of a safety incident, and improvement of medical research. It is difficult to draw up an exhaustive list of the cloud’s benefits for hospitals and medical centers, as there are so many ways in which it can improve the performance of each institution as a whole.
Adoption and use of the cloud in the medical sector vary greatly depending on the region. Some countries who are particularly advanced on the subject have thus become pioneers, offering an excellent glimpse into the future of healthcare.
Voted the second happiest country in the world 1, Denmark has developed a strong national digital healthcare strategy. In addition to offering a universal health insurance system, the Danish healthcare system is bolstered by the sundhed.dk 2 portal hosted in the cloud. This platform centralizes all patients’ health data and medical history on a single interface, via which it is possible to make and manage medical appointments.
It is the single point of contact used by both patients and professionals. They can both access all the data they need: medical imaging, biobank, clinical database, etc. The Danish government has also invested in ensuring the cybersecurity and confidentiality of the health data hosted therein.
Estonia also deployed a similar portal a dozen years ago. 99% of patient health data is stored there. The genetic profile of each patient is also included, with a scoring system that measures the risks specific to each individual. This information allows professionals to make highly personalized diagnoses and offer preventive medicine. “Better information – more health” is the leitmotif of the Estonian government.
South Korea is the first country in the world to have deployed a 5G network from 2019, thus establishing its status as “hyperconnected”. This 5G network has allowed Korean hospitals to share data up to 20 times faster. As of 2020, doctors were able to transfer 4-gigabyte biopsy images at an average speed of 1 gigabyte per second. This almost real-time sharing allows professionals to exchange and comment on medical images directly, even if they are based in different institutions.
5G also makes it possible to render hospitals fully connected, using a multitude of sensors that measure air quality or geolocate hospital beds, among other features, to facilitate the day-to-day lives of personnel and improve patient comfort. All this data is then hosted in the cloud.
All around the world, healthcare players are migrating their data and applications to the cloud. These forward-thinking countries that have deployed large-scale projects give us insight into the potential of this technology to increase the performance of medical institutions, offer better patient care pathways, and modernize the healthcare system in its entirety.