How Cloud Computing in the Hospital Environment Is Closing the Health Equity Gap Today

The health equity gap is one of the most pressing issues in...
High angle view of nurse walking around hospital while looking at a medical chart on tablet. **DESIGN ON SCREEN WAS MADE FROM SCRATCH BY US**

The health equity gap is one of the most pressing issues in the medical landscape today. More than ever before, technologies that streamline delivery are needed. With data-driving modern technologies, tech-enhanced healthcare delivery continues to require an endlessly scalable environment to store and process the massive and rising medical data. By providing access to powerful computing resources, the cloud is enabling healthcare organizations to improve the delivery of care, and below is a clear look into how it does that.  

What Is the Health Equity Gap? 

The health equity gap is a term used to describe the difference in access to healthcare services between different social, economic, or racial groups. For example, people living in rural areas may not have access to the same level of healthcare services as those living in urban areas. Similarly, people of color and other minority groups may not have access to the same quality of healthcare as the majority population. This unequal access to healthcare services can lead to disparities in health outcomes, such as higher mortality rates among certain populations. The health equity gap has long been a challenge for healthcare providers and policymakers and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fortunately, cloud computing is now helping to close this gap. Cloud computing enables healthcare providers to share data and resources quickly and efficiently across a wide geographic area. The role of the cloud in healthcare delivery has been only more impactful as emerging concepts like big data and IoT increasingly get integrated with AI, AR, and robotics. Today, the trend implies the increasing importance of cloud computing to the healthcare industry as the sector is expected to see a market thrift from 39.4 billion USD in 2022 to 89.4 billion USD in 2027, yielding a CAGR of 17.8%. More on the benefits driving this change will be next expounded.  

Benefits of Cloud Computing to Health Equity 

Cloud computing is an open door to a vast horizon of new opportunities in the global secular landscape, which includes the medical world. Below is a closer look into how cloud technology is helping to change the industrial narrative today, especially concerning health equity, and what it can mean for medical centers and patient populations in the future.  

Eliminating Care Access Barriers 

Cloud computing can help connect underserved populations with healthcare services. By providing virtual visits, secure messaging, and other digital health services, cloud computing can help bridge the gap between those who do not have access to traditional healthcare services and those who do.  

Cloud computing is also facilitating care access by providing a complex of historical data that enables healthcare experts to have a better insight into the tendency of a successful subsequent care session with each patient through predictive analysis run on the historical data. With the historical data of patients in the cloud, distance remains no barrier and the best approach to delivery can be earlier identified and effectively administered.  

Democratizing Data Access 

Cloud computing is playing an important role in bridging the health equity gap, as it enables healthcare organizations to access and leverage data and applications in a more cost-efficient way, regardless of location. This means that patients living in rural or underserved areas can access the same quality of care as those living in more affluent areas. Additionally, cloud computing can be used to aggregate data from different sources to better identify and address health disparities among different social, economic, and racial groups. By providing remote access to historical and real-time medical records, lab results, prescription notes, and other vital information, cloud computing makes healthcare more accessible to everyone. This can as well lead to more effective policies and improved patient outcomes. 

Cloud computing also makes it easier for healthcare providers to collaborate and share information. Through secure networks and platforms, practitioners can easily exchange patient information and consult with each other from different locations. This helps to provide more efficient, equitable care, regardless of patient income level.  

Maximizing Care Delivery Investments  

Finally,  cloud computing can help reduce costs associated with delivering care, as it eliminates the need for hardware, software, and infrastructure investments. With cloud-based systems, data, and applications are centrally managed, resulting in lower IT costs. These cost savings can then be reinvested in other cash-strapped areas of patient care.  

Conclusion  

Although health equity is still a pending need in the medical environment today, cloud computing is playing an integral role in helping to close the health equity gap by making healthcare more accessible and efficient for everyone. By eliminating expensive IT investments and providing a platform for collaboration and data sharing, cloud computing is helping to ensure that all patients receive quality care, regardless of their economic status or geographic location. With increased cloud-related investments in time, medical centers may be able to accommodate more patient disparities with data-driven technologies leveraged by the cloud to facilitate indiscriminate delivery of as-needed care.  

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