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Table of Contents
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41-44

Health cloud: A perfect solution for patient management


1 Consultant Oral Pathologist, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
2 General Medical Practitioner, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
3 Clinical Practitioner, Daman, Daman and Diu, India
4 Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, School of Dental Sciences, KIMS Deemed to be University, Karad, Maharashtra, India
5 Consultant Physician and Intensivist, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
6 Consultant Anesthesiologist and Intensivist, Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Date of Submission13-May-2022
Date of Acceptance29-May-2022
Date of Web Publication29-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Vinit S Patil
Consultant Oral Pathologist, Kozhikode, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/INJO.INJO_10_22

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  Abstract 

Health cloud computing is a recent and fast growing area of development in health care. Medicine is an increasingly data-intensive and collaborative endeavor. Advances in medicine and research generate considerable amounts of data to be processed and stored. Secondary use of clinical data with text- or data mining algorithms also entails a growing demand for dynamic, scalable resources. The biggest threat to the adoption in the healthcare domain is caused by involving external cloud partners: many issues of data safety and security are still to be solved. Thus, the objective of this scoping review was to identify the current state on cloud computing in health care beyond the traditional domain.

Keywords: Health cloud, medicine, patient data


How to cite this article:
Patil VS, Sidhulal K, Vaghela N, Belgaumi U, James JV, Ahmed JB. Health cloud: A perfect solution for patient management. Int J Oral Care Res 2022;10:41-4

How to cite this URL:
Patil VS, Sidhulal K, Vaghela N, Belgaumi U, James JV, Ahmed JB. Health cloud: A perfect solution for patient management. Int J Oral Care Res [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 16];10:41-4. Available from: https://www.ijocr.org/text.asp?2022/10/2/41/348769




  Introduction Top


Electronic health (e-health) cloud computing is a progressive technology that can revolutionize the healthcare industry. Cloud computing has numerous advantages such as high speed, flexibility, scalability, fast deployment, resource sharing, energy saving, and cost-effective infrastructure, which can considerably influence daily life. Computing facilities and resources can be established conveniently in any location. The healthcare industry is focussed on sustainable development, and future healthcare models are expected to be data-centric. Cloud computing can facilitate coordination, communication, and collaboration between various healthcare systems.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] The rapid development of information and technology has resulted in advances in numerous healthcare applications such as hospital information systems, medical diagnostic systems, electronic health records, and healthcare monitoring. Improving the efficiency and accuracy of healthcare information systems requires critical decision-making. Cloud computing is a novel technology that combines storage resource assignment and computing technology. Companies such as Aetna and IBM’s Active Health Management subsidiary have established novel clinical data management systems according to the structure of cloud computing. The aim of the collaborative care solution is to provide controlled access to various types of clinical patient data from various sources, such as medication records, laboratory data, and claims as well as electronic medical records. Microsoft and Google services such as Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health focus on novel services for storing medical records.


  Applications in E-health Cloud Computing Systems Top


Cloud computing which is applied for enhancing patient care is called e-health cloud computing, and it offers chances to address some limitations of hospital information systems. The ability to access medical records anywhere and anytime can considerably improve healthcare services. Cloud computing can be used to access medical records and therefore improve healthcare facilitates. Because cloud computing is frequently operated in a shared and open environment, it is susceptible to malicious data thefts, attacks, and information losses. Security concerns are detrimental to the implementation of cloud computing systems in the healthcare industry. Healthcare specialists are distrustful of cloud computing because hackers may be able to access patient medical records.[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11] Thus, security and privacy concerns are valid. Cloud computing service providers should address security concerns to improve trust among healthcare providers and patients. A review verified that a growing number of healthcare administrations plan to implement cloud computing services to exploit cloud computing. However, as mentioned previously, the adoption of cloud computing technology has presented numerous applications for the healthcare industry, principally with respect to their management (e.g., information integration, convenient information sharing, and cost-effectiveness), service delivery (e.g., testing and debugging, software research and development, and system stability), security (e.g., confidentiality, data integrity, and access control), and software (e.g., software convenience, cloud-based medical image exchange, and software scalability). The healthcare industry is highly complex because of the operational difficulties of providing medical services. Health care includes dissimilar stakeholders with various interests and industry-specific features. Hence, cloud computing in healthcare is multifaceted, and its application via healthcare institutions can be ensured only under certain requirements. When implementing cloud computing systems (i.e., making decisions about e-health cloud computing system adoption), numerous determinant problems associated with these conditions should be considered. An implementation decision without critical thought on the determining factors can not only hinder the productive application of cloud computing in the healthcare industry but also present problems. E-health cloud computing systems are revolutionizing health care by providing users with novel protocols, which were not possible a decade ago. Innovative e-health cloud computing systems will finally become the novel cornerstone of modern health systems.


  Models of Cloud Computing Top


There are majorly three deployment models of cloud computing. These are public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15]

Private cloud

Private cloud is a cloud infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third-party, and hosted either internally or externally.

Public cloud

A cloud is called a public cloud when the services are rendered over a network that is open for public use. Public cloud services may be free.

Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community, or public) that remain distinct entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models.


  The Factors Influencing the Cloud Computing System Aedoption Top


Cloud management

The adoption of cloud computing is partly driven by management concerns including information integration, information sharing, and cost-effectiveness. Implementing a system of cloud computing can cause considerable savings: the more expenditures a system saves with cloud computing, the greater is the effectiveness of the system—such as, when using software as a service—companies usually purchase version updates and pay monthly software fees based on the numeral of users, thereby decreasing information technology expenses and information integration. Therefore, if healthcare industry pays license fees monthly, they could extend the of product lifecycle of software without bearing the risks of product redundancy or being bound via the models of traditional software licensing. Furthermore, service providers supply unlimited client services, pay-per-use, and dynamically adjustable via saving consumers the expenses, building virtual resource pools of maintaining, adopting, designing, and integrating infrastructures of customization. The services of the cloud also remove the expenditures related to buying data storage devices, providing management and maintenance, enabling convenient information sharing, and purchasing other hardware. Without cloud services, customers would need to solve these management problems.[11],[12],[13],[14],[15] Therefore, information integration, convenient information sharing, and cost-effectiveness are serious concerns in the assessment of cloud management functions for e-health cloud computing systems.

Cloud service delivery

Steady high-quality systems of cloud computing yield trustworthy services. Moreover, testing and debugging, software research and development, and system stability are closely related with system security owing to the degree to which system engineers stress that information security is related to the probability of realizing the security of data storage and system stability. As the service systems of healthcare cloud computing operate on the structures of network, they are weak to viruses, information theft, and hackers.[9],[10],[11],[12],[13] Therefore, testing and debugging, software research and development, and system stability are serious factors in the evaluation of cloud service delivery for e-health cloud computing systems.

Cloud security

There are three critical factors, namely, confidentiality, data integrity, and access control. Delegating control of data to the cloud enhances the data compromise risk, owing to the data becoming reachable to numerous parties. The increase in the number of devices, applications, and parties increases the risk of data compromise. Integrity ensures the health data offered to any entity or captured via a system are consistent and accurate through the intended information and not modified in any method. E-health cloud requires high reliability. E-health cloud data and services must be no error. This control policy is set such that only an authorized practitioner or a trusted third party can obtain the patient’s medical records. Numerous resolutions have been presented to deal with these accesses and control security worries. Attribute-based and role-based access controls are the most prevalent models for healthcare cloud computing.[13],[14],[15]

Cloud software

The software function forms the crux of all services in e-health cloud computing systems. In the healthcare industry, convenient software, cloud-based medical image exchange, and software scalability are mostly critical. Owing to software convenience, software design and software scalability should satisfy the demands of the environment of health care, healthcare personnel and patients should be able to configure and regulate the functions of systems; when such demands are satisfied, the resulting cloud computing systems of health care can yield high user fulfillment. Cloud-based medical image exchange is a critical requirement because this function may focus on emergency care. Hence, the information systems of health should include the structures that enable smooth and rapid transmission of medical information and classification of the medical data or images of critical patients, thus enabling staff to efficiently flag emergencies. Based on literature review, expert opinions, and in-depth discussions with administrators of the healthcare industry and researchers, we summarized the cloud computing functions and security of e-health cloud computing systems as having the following four aspects: cloud management, cloud service delivery, cloud security, and cloud software. [Table 1] displays a comprehensive report of these elements. Cloud management is affected by three factors, namely, information integration, convenient information sharing, and cost-effectiveness. Cloud service delivery is affected by three factors, namely, testing and debugging, software research and development, and system stability. Cloud security is affected by three factors, namely, confidentiality, data integrity, and access control. Cloud software is affected by three factors, namely, software convenience, cloud computing medical image exchange, and software scalability.[11],[12],[13],[14],[15]
Table 1: Explanation of dimensions and factors

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  Challenges in Health Cloud Usage Top


Security is one of the main problems that hinder the fast adoption of the cloud computing technology in the healthcare industry. The strengths and benefits of cloud computing far exceed its dangers and threats. Security requirements are increasingly difficult to meet without a significant investment in infrastructure and manpower. The dilemma is that security is negatively proportional to consumer convenience. In other words, the more sophisticated the security measures, the less comfortable the consumers, and as a result, they are going to be less inclined to use the cloud service. The problem is that a gain obtained in one dimension causes a loss in another dimension. In the future, we will propose a holistic solution that attempts to balance all contradicting requirements. Migration of organization data to the cloud is a strategic and complex decision. Before moving data into the cloud, the security challenges should be mitigated. A good cloud service provider should monitor the protected health data life cycle. Before selecting a cloud service provider, the following different questions should be asked: Is the provider ISO/IEC 72001 certified? Is the provider compliant with the security and privacy regulatory acts? Is the provider staff trained on risk and crisis management? Whether the provider performs periodic security checks? Is the service provider willing to sign a strong HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) that contains severe punishment in case of terms violation. Different security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and the type of encryption and authentication techniques should also be checked.


  Conclusion Top


Health cloud computing systems for hospitals are with infinite ability to strengthen patient relationships and improve healthcare services. To make the most out of the technology, though, it is essential to set things up properly, incorporate the cloud into the healthcare organization’s tech infrastructure, and configure it to suit the hospital or clinic requirements via the add-ons tailor-made applications included. Cloud computing is today driving change in the Indian healthcare system. The technology comes with multiple advantages for healthcare establishments including workflow management, ease of storing, and managing and processing huge volumes of patient information being churned out on a daily basis.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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