- The global healthcare cloud computing market is forecast by Technavio to increase at a CAGR of 22 percent, growing by $16.4 billion from 2017 to 2022.
Technavio said that growth in cloud-assisted medical collaborations is one of the key factors fueling growth in the healthcare cloud computing market.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) segment is projected to reach 65 percent of the total market by 2022, a 3 percent increase in market share from 2017. Other healthcare cloud market segments include infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).
A key trend for this market is edge computing, which is a method of optimizing cloud computing by performing computing applications at the logical end-point of the network, explained Technavio.
Sensors, controllers, and other connected devices collect and analyze IoT data or transmit it to a nearby computing device such as servers or laptops for analysis. Data can be quickly retrieved and applied in edge computing systems, the tech research firm noted.
Some vendors are providing software using edge computing for monitoring epileptic patients, detecting the occurrence of epilepsy episodes in a patient and informing their family members or caretakers.
Edge computing can create a record of patients’ vitals and events, which can be used by medical professionals to determine better treatment options for patients.
Collaborative edge computing can help connect the computing edges of multiple healthcare organizations, explained an article by Wayne State University researchers published in the IEEE Internet of Things Journal.
“More and more services are pushed from the cloud to the edge of the network because processing data at the edge can ensure shorter response time and better reliability … It would be more efficient to process or massage data at the edge of the network,” the researchers wrote.
“The demand of geographically distributed data processing applications in healthcare requires data sharing and collaboration among enterprises in multiple domains,” according to the researchers. “To attack this challenge, collaborative edge can fuse geographically distributed data by creating virtual shared data views.”
Network of Smaller Datacenters
Edge computing can create a network of smaller datacenters with dedicated purposes and features tailored to meet specific demands. Digital projects that create or require data can be processed much faster when the computing power is close to the device or person generating it.
“Organizations that have embarked on a digital business journey have realized that a more decentralized approach is required to address digital business infrastructure requirements,” said Gartner Principal Research Analyst Santhosh Rao. “As the volume and velocity of data increases, so too does the inefficiency of streaming all this information to a cloud or data center for processing.”
According to Gartner, 10 percent of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud. The market research firm predicted that by 2022, this will reach three-quarters of data.
“A wearable health monitor is an example of a basic edge solution. It can locally analyze data like heart rate or sleep patterns and provide recommendations without a frequent need to connect to the cloud,” said Rao. “Edge computing has enormous potential to enable digital initiatives supported by IoT.”
At the same time, planning, deploying, and maintaining edge computing can be a challenge. Edge computing functions differently than a datacenter and marks a shift in the way information is processed and delivered.
Healthcare organizations are using edge computing for local and remote patient monitoring and telemedicine, according to an article in the Journal of Diabetes and Scientific Technology.
“Edge computing is expected to be a key enabler of processes where a rapid response to sensor input is necessary, such as wireless health monitoring, virtual reality, and robotics,” said the authors of the article. “As the amount of data generated by the IoT increases, the need for distributed computing based on fog computing and edge computing architectures will progressively increase.”