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Cloud services are able to address threats and vulnerabilities while optimizing patient and clinician experiences. However, other industries are migrating to the cloud faster than the healthcare industry.
Rather than this being a result of inadequate resources, lack of will or fear, the reality is because the medical IT system tends to be opaque and complex. This means that real-time system visualization could be the best way to unlock the cloud for the healthcare industry.
Digital technology in the UAE has begun to change healthcare delivery and medical education. The Thumbay Group, for example, that operates pharmacies, hospitals and a medical college is already using virtual and augmented reality to offer students the best and most realistic learning experience. This level of flexibility improves training with the eventual result of enhanced patient care outcomes.
The Issues of Interdependencies and System Complexity
There is nothing simple about healthcare organizations, partly because doctors rely on applications which depend on functional technology infrastructure. This has to be maintained by medical staff according to specific workflows. Of course this means there is a lot of interdependence between the IT systems, people and workflows.
Not many other industries have such interdependent and overlapping systems as healthcare and every organization has its own set of applications they have been using together for years. It is rare to find documentation of how the organization’s technology infrastructure interacts with these applications.
When coupled with a lack of knowledge about how the applications interact with each other, this kind of system complexity is one of the main reasons the healthcare industry is comparatively slow to migrate to the cloud.
Most medical applications are either very complex or very opaque or even both, meaning that it is no real surprise healthcare IT leaders are not really pushing to move these applications to the cloud.
They have focused more on applications like marketing automation, helpdesk, payroll, HR, building maintenance, and project management, since these systems are better understood and have fewer connections. This makes them good candidates to migrate to the cloud first.
Optimized Performance Requires System Visibility
System visibility is key to lay the groundwork so a complete understanding of applications can be built and which workloads should be migrated first can be determined.
It is also vital to have visibility across the cloud environment to ensure the security and performance of both on-premises applications and ones in the cloud. Visibility is also necessary to deploy and operate cloud-based services to fight threats and vulnerabilities and improve the experiences of both clinicians and patients.
Traffic Data Analysis
Analyzing traffic data is another good way to achieve system visibility. This data shows every transaction and action in the whole infrastructure and is a powerful data source which is able to guide cloud migration.
Traffic data shows if a newly migrated application has managed to connect to other systems which depend on it. It is another component in the patient and clinical experience.
Performance issues can be hugely problematic since they can erode trust in a new system or application, so if something works worse instead of better after cloud migration, trust in the organization might decrease and future migrations to the cloud might get more difficult.
Boosting Digital Transformation in Healthcare
There is more to system visibility than simply traffic data. Healthcare organizations also require instrumentation and tooling. Digital transformation can only be confidently accelerated with visibility.
Healthcare organization IT leaders can use this visibility to make decisions based on evidence and rationalization. Such clarity is key for the best decision-making outcomes as well as successful cloud migrations.