The cloud has transformed many industries in recent years. Along with media, finance and analytics, healthcare has been transformed by cloud storage and data analytics. The ability to analyze data has become the limiting factor in the speed of healthcare researchers discovering cures for diseases through advance analysis of trends. There has never before been as much data available to medical researchers as is what is generated today. The cloud has emerged as the central repository for collection and analysis of data.

Breast and ovarian cancer research has focused on analyzing 2,000 DNA sequences, comprising 200 TB of data. An emerging trend in healthcare is a focus on increasing the amount of data used to analyze and identify trends, in order to better assess patient response to treatment options or aggressiveness of disease. Cloud computing offers a commercial, rapid solution to regressing these large amounts of data. In addition to facilitating Big Data analysis, cloud computing also offers the requisite security needed to comply with HIPAA security measures.

As a result, healthcare is accelerating the pace of data migration to shared computer processing resources. The global healthcare cloud computing market is forecasted to reach $9.48 billion by 2020. Primary drivers toward healthcare migration to the cloud include: lowering capital investment and IT overhead for healthcare providers, continuously improving performance through innovation led by large tech hosting companies like Amazon and Microsoft and maintaining flexibility to adapt to growing data size. Not surprisingly, a survey of 105 IT experts revealed that 80% of patient interactions will rely on IoT and big data due to these factors.

In the near future, nearly 75% of the survey respondents plan to use the cloud to host patient empowerment tools to enable patients to educate themselves, monitor their health and store/share records to help reduce overall costs of healthcare. This would increase the efficiency of office visits and shift more of the doctors’ time to treating patients.

Integration of patient care and test results with Big Data analytics are examples of the kind of disruptive innovation that cloud computing can provide. As Moore’s Law states, the total amount of data generated doubles every 18 months. Migration to the cloud has become the preferred path for healthcare IT experts to collect and analyze this critically-important data in order to best care for the patients.