The local healthcare sector has a reputation for spending big on some types of innovation but lagging when it comes to back-end systems and other applications. Electronic record keeping is gaining ground but paper and fax machines remain popular. However, according to a study by analysts Technavio, the global healthcare cloud computing market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 20% over the next four years.
Service provider ITonCloud's CEO Andrew Tucker said, “Many healthcare providers utilising some form of cloud computing, even if it’s for data storage or using cloud-based software. But we are also seeing a surge in the number of healthcare businesses going completely to the cloud and doing away with costly on-premise servers all together".
For example, Injury Treatment, a provider of professional allied health consulting services which has grown to over 35 outlets across Australia, made the decision to go totally cloud two years ago.
The health care sector is seeing significant pressure with new service providers challenging existing business models. Companies like Better Caring and Care Support Network are utilising new technologies to change the way service delivery is managed.
And recent cyber attacks like the WannaCry event have put the lack of investment on maintaining backend systems on the CIO and CSO agenda.
Changes in mandatory breach notification laws are likely to see many healthcare providers, from sole traders to larger entities rethink their approaches to data management and security. And with the My Health Record system becoming opt-out, rather than opt-in, the amount of data being shunted between health care agencies will drive further change.
All this is creating a perfect storm, where government policy, changing customer needs and emerging technology are creating a drastically different marketplace. And existing providers are feeling the pinch.