Editor’s note: Enabling fast and secure collection, analysis, and transmission of healthcare-related data, cloud connectivity is changing the healthcare industry. In the article, Alena shows what benefits of cloud networking make healthcare providers opt for cloud technology and how it makes medical devices truly smart. And if you are looking to use the opportunities cloud connectivity opens for your medical devices, you are welcome to consider ScienceSoft’s offering in medical device software development.
With the market of healthcare cloud computing reaching $35 billion by 2022, connectivity to the cloud becomes a recognized trend in the healthcare industry. So, when ScienceSoft’s customers that manufacture medical devices waver between an on-premises and a cloud connectivity option, I usually recommend opting for the cloud-based approach not to miss out on the benefits this trend offers. Below, I outline the main cloud-based networking characteristics that will raise your medical devices’ competitiveness on the market.
Convenient connection with internal healthcare systems
Connectivity to the cloud enables a constant flow of patient data gathered by medical devices to a care provider’s internal healthcare applications, including EHR, HIS (hospital information system), and LIS (laboratory information system). And all the data can be accessed via patient or hospital mobile/web applications. It is especially convenient for care providers with many facilities (hospitals, clinics, labs, etc.), since all the information collected by cloud-connected medical devices is stored in one place and accessible from anywhere and at any time, which adds to the speed and efficiency in managing medical data. Moreover, cloud-based connection between medical devices and internal healthcare systems creates excellent opportunities for remote patient monitoring using wireless medical devices or wearable biosensors technology.
Cloud-based medical device networking enables predictive maintenance of medical devices, which helps you to provide the maintenance services of medical devices that your customers (hospitals, clinics, living facilities, and other healthcare organizations) buy.
Using a mobile or web app connected to the cloud, you can monitor the technical condition of all the connected medical devices based on incoming technical data, regardless of location. And with the help of machine learning technology, the system predicts the medical device malfunctions, for example, electrical and overheating problems. It allows organizing a tailored maintenance schedule and helps avoid unforeseen breakdowns and malfunctions of medical devices.
“No way!” – that’s what I hear from some of our customers when I say that cloud-based medical device networking doesn’t harm patient data security. The thing is, the cloud providers (for example, of such cloud platforms as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP)) are responsible to a great extent for the security of stored data as they have to comply with HIPAA regulations to store PHI.
But no provider can guarantee 100% security. That’s why I always recommend medical device producers to integrate security aspects into each step of the software development for medical devices. For example, you should ensure data anonymization and data encryption at the development stage and regular vulnerability assessment and penetration testing, and continuous network monitoring after the rollout.
How to provide your medical devices with the connectivity to the cloud
Organizing medical device connectivity with the help of cloud technology demands experience with cloud platforms (for example, AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP), competencies in building secure IoMT architectures, and a lot more. If you feel that you need help with ensuring reliable cloud connectivity for your medical devices, you are welcome to reach ScienceSoft’s healthcare IT team.
Looking for a solution to your healthcare IT challenge? Our experienced healthcare consultants are here to help.