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Health Tech: 4 Ways Healthcare Is Being Transformed by the Cloud

By Jacquelyn Bengfort

Healthcare is increasingly turning to the cloud. According to research from Global Market Insights, the North American healthcare cloud-computing market surpassed $8.5 billion in 2018, and the global market could exceed $55 billion by 2025.

That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been turbulence along the way, particularly when it comes to the public cloud.

No matter the operating model though, healthcare organizations have made astonishing strides in improving care by employing the cloud. Here are four ways the cloud is making a dramatic difference for patients and staff alike:

1. Cloud Improves the Ability to Monitor Medically Fragile Outpatients

Dr. Girish Shirali, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City, in Missouri, developed an app that is helping to keeping babies alive. Powered by Microsoft and hosted in Azure, the app allows parents of children born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a serious medical condition requiring multiple surgeries, to upload a range of data several times a day.

Before the application, parents had to log the infant’s vital signs in a three-ring binder and call the hospital to provide that information weekly; a quarter of HLHS patients died before their second surgery at 6 months of age.

“It was a reactive model,” Lori Erickson, a nurse practitioner, told Microsoft Transform. Children’s Mercy showed that their proactive remote monitoring model made a dramatic difference in outcomes; in fact, in the first two years of the program, the hospital did not lose a single HLHS patient.

2. Advanced Analytics Is Reducing Hospital Admissions

Another benefit of Children’s Mercy’s approach to HLHS care was a reduction in hospital admittances. The flow of real-time data allowed providers to see problems before they became emergencies.

Erickson gave the example of an infant whose weight gain pattern once would have led to hospitalization. By spotting the issue early, she worked with the parents to course-correct before it became serious.

And it’s not just the providers who learn to see problems coming — the system itself can learn.“Rather than the analysis simply telling us that saturation is low, [the system] could instead tell us that the risk of an adverse cardiac event in the next three days just went from 2 percent to 40 percent, and tell us why,” Shirali told Microsoft Transform.


Read the full story via Health Tech

Learn more about CHAMP at Children's Mercy