Cloud computing in healthcare will be worth nearly $10 billion (approx. £7.5 billion) by 2021, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan.

The research looked at the levels of revenue generated by vendors offering cloud computing services to healthcare providers and analysed the major growth opportunities, challenges, business models and solutions found in the healthcare industry.

It found that though healthcare has historically been slow to adopt to technological change, including moving to the cloud, attitudes are changing, largely as a result of demand from across the industry to take advantage of health data in order to improve efficiency and give ‘value-based care.’

The future growth of cloud computing in healthcare is expected to be driven primarily by storage challenges. As the volume of healthcare data increases exponentially, storage will become a more difficult problem for those in the industry to solve, particularly given the highly regulated nature of healthcare.

Though a move towards cloud computing is gaining support amongst clinical staff, decision makers are also now convinced of the secure nature of cloud environments, with the findings showing that many senior figures believe that cloud is more secure than on-premise, particularly in terms of backup and disaster recovery.


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Looking ahead to 2021, the researchers expect to see developments beyond improved data storage for those that adopt cloud technology. “One major industry game-changer will be real-world data,” said Frost & Sullivan digital health research manager, Natasha Gulati.

“Growing awareness of the benefits of open platforms and increasing industry focus on interoperability and collaborative solution design are creating a huge demand for vertically integrated cloud platforms that open the data to multiple stakeholders who are willing to share the risks and the rewards of shared data assets.”

Currently, the use of cloud computing in healthcare is mostly restricted to non-clinical, back office workflows, but the study predicts that as healthcare data becomes increasingly complex, and carries an increasing number of sources and applications, cloud adoption will also increase accordingly.

Despite predicting an upward swing in the industry, the study also predicts a ‘definite peak in adoption’, as current opportunities become more saturated.