We’ll be looking at the new capabilities of cloud security that have given rise to new opportunities in healthcare as part of Acceleration Economy’s cybersecurity channel.
The Covid-19 outbreak has presented healthcare institutions with a plethora of difficult problems. In order to adapt and flourish in this new environment, many healthcare institutions have turned to cloud computing. These facilities face a variety of challenges, such as personnel shortages, social distance-instigated restrictions, and congestion. Since the cloud was first included into the digital ecosystems of healthcare about ten years ago, cloud-based infrastructure has shown to offer better patient care and more efficient operations to handle contemporary difficulties. Undoubtedly, there have been difficulties with cloud adoption, notably with cybersecurity. As numerous organisations and governmental authorities have enforced regulations to safeguard individuals and healthcare facilities from harm, need has once again shown to be the mother of invention.
Many new opportunities now make it possible for a healthcare ecosystem that is more effective, patient-centric, and cost-effective than ever before, all with better cybersecurity than ever before, thanks to the healthcare industry’s perseverance in the face of difficult circumstances.
Numerous new capabilities have altered how effectively healthcare systems function because to substantial advancements in cloud security, including:
- Home office and remote working options
- Improved telemedicine
- lowering of overhead
- Equipment for remote patient monitoring
- Provisions to stop ransomware attacks
- Increased knowledge of cybersecurity
- Security duties being turned out to outside security companies
- Automation frees up resources for healthcare.
Continue reading to find out how the healthcare industry will work in 2022 and beyond as a result of each new skill.
1. Remote and Work-from-Home (WFH) Capabilities
Numerous healthcare organisations have observed the productivity gains associated with using cloud-enabled technologies to work remotely (in a WFH or hybrid environment). These benefits consist of:
- Increasing talent who favour remote and hybrid work arrangements is the ideal solution to the ongoing IT worker problem in the healthcare industry.
- expanding the talent pool beyond geographic restrictions (such as rural and underserved communities)
- enabling personnel to produce in a shorter amount of time
- Easing healthcare burnout and making it simpler for workers to reach a more equal work/life balance
When working with off-site workers, training and adherence are crucial, just like with any remote work that includes extremely sensitive data. Remote work, especially for personnel who do not interact directly with patients, has never been more practical than it is right now thanks to the cloud’s better security procedures with VPNs and encryption with multi-factoral authentication (MFA).
However, at 35%, the percentage of remote employees in white-collar occupations in the healthcare industry is among the lowest. Of course, it seems likely that healthcare will rely more and more on an off-site labour as the pandemic persists for the foreseeable future.
2. Enhancing telemedicine
Healthcare has long used telemedicine. However, telemedicine used to be replete with security flaws and inefficiencies, which increased danger for cloud. This featured numerous attacks that posed a threat to data integrity, confidentiality, and access.
Telemedicine has expanded in breadth and usage now that cloud infrastructure has caught up to end-to-end security capabilities and simplified access for authorised users. Some of the most promising applications of cloud-based telemedicine for patients and doctors are the ones listed below:
- Pregnant women can have more flexibility and convenience by forgoing travel and other obligations during virtual prenatal and postpartum sessions.
- Pre- and post-operative care are two areas where telehealth follow-ups can help patients not only lower their risk of contracting illness and discomfort made worse by travel, but also make it easier for their loved ones to be involved in their treatment.
- Offering virtual visits for patients with chronic conditions can give providers more touchpoints to encourage medication and treatment adherence, answer patients’ questions about their care, and keep patients out of high-cost care settings only when necessary. Ongoing care needs for people with chronic health issues.
- In mental and behavioural health, lowering obstacles to care and enabling patients to access the services they require in comfortable settings (such as those with agoraphobia).
The best part is that patients may now decide whether they want in-person or telemedicine care for their own piece of mind, without worrying as much about privacy or compromised data. A sizable portion of the population relies on the convenience of care when quality standards are not a concern, such as virtual checkups when combined with remote monitoring devices to track collected and real-time biometric data. This is true even though many patients still prefer in-person healthcare. The telemedicine alternative is also more appealing to more individuals due to improvements in security and privacy.
3. Lowering of Expenses
Healthcare institutions are seeking for strategies to reduce expenses without compromising care standards as a result of the worldwide pandemic’s impact on economic uncertainty and escalating prices.
Healthcare firms are significantly cutting costs by using remote working and the minimal infrastructure required for cloud-based solutions in a secure system, such as office space, non-essential staff, and medical supplies. Similar to this, healthcare organisations are cutting expenses by growing their storage requirements from secure cloud providers while staying within their expenditure limits. Naturally, this raises the demand for cloud security requirements.
4. Equipment for remote patient monitoring
The ability for patients to monitor their biometrics via cloud-enabled remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices may be the biggest advantage of better cloud security. RPM devices offer a wide range of advantages as they are rigorously examined by the FDA and other governmental bodies for their security and adherence to compliance criteria (such as patient privacy, location settings, etc.). These advantages consist of:
- Real-time and patient data gathering verification
- Respect for treatment and medication schedules
- Decreased expenses for both patients and providers
- Reliable data source for insurance payors
5. Redundancies to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
Attacks using ransomware continue to pose the biggest risk to the reliability of healthcare companies. Redundancy measures can therefore be used to counteract these threats by putting in place a secure cloud-based architecture. This is especially true for multi-cloud solutions, where redundant data storage options from many providers, such as:
- Crossing security precautions
- An early warning
- Putting vulnerable networks under quarantine while continuing to provide mission-critical services to ensure patient care and minimal business disruption
- Separating private networks, patient-facing systems, and mission-critical operational systems
6. Increased Cybersecurity Awareness
Secure exchange of EHRs, PACS, and other healthcare data is a highly digital procedure by the very nature of the cloud. Healthcare workers frequently use the cloud, and they follow strict guidelines for digital hygiene, thus cybersecurity is more important than ever.
Nearly 60% of C-suite executives say they are “extremely aware” of digital hazards, according to recent statistics. Additionally, doctors and other healthcare professionals claim a greater knowledge of security precautions, particularly in relation to complying with HIPAA and other legal requirements. An ecosystem for security that is more robust as a result.
7. Giving Security Responsibilities to Outside Security Companies
Third-party security and compliance companies are a booming market in healthcare as a result of the vulnerabilities of the healthcare sector. These businesses provide their services to plug security vulnerabilities in cloud computing, which frees up in-house and remote IT workers to concentrate on daily operational chores rather than time-consuming security inspections and ongoing network monitoring.
The following are some of the most typical types of outside cloud security services:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
Every one of these security services provides certain elements specific to a certain healthcare business. For instance, some security companies provide both on-site staff consultants who directly handle cloud-based technology and remote monitoring from personnel who work off-site.
8. Automation Frees Up Resources for Healthcare
In 2022, automation has become the standard as many healthcare providers combine the cloud’s wide adoption with the potent dynamic capabilities of AI and machine learning algorithms.
These technologies have incredible cybersecurity capabilities, including rapid detection, automatic checks that go beyond what humans can do, and security measures to prevent unwanted access (among many other uses).
Automated cloud-based systems allow customers to free up IT resources for tasks that call for human involvement and do away with “grunt work,” which is frequently noted as a contributing factor to IT employee fatigue.