Healthcare Cloud Computing Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)
The healthcare cloud computing market was valued at USD 23,749.33 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 52,303.35 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 14.12% during the forecast period of 2021-2026.
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have an overall positive effect on the market. There is now an increasing understanding of the potential of cloud technologies, which provide data storage and computing resources that are managed by external service providers to help improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of healthcare. This has become important in the fight against COVID-19. Due to the huge number of research work and clinical trials being carried out across the world, the research data being generated needs to be stored in a secure environment that can house large amounts of data. Cloud computing solves the problem of both space constraints and security as it allows the hosting of huge amounts of data on private dedicated cloud channels. A major benefit of cloud-based services to organizations and companies during the COVID-19 pandemic is that they allow faster implementation and upscaling across a range of different settings. They do not require companies to procure additional hardware (such as servers needed for on-premises solutions) and they can be implemented remotely. For example, in March 2020, an AI-enabled auxiliary diagnostic system was offered by Huawei Cloud, the cloud computing unit of Huawei, and artificial intelligence company Huiying Medical Technology Co. Ltd to hospitals in Ecuador remotely.
The major factors that are bolstering the growth of the healthcare cloud computing market include the increasing access to advanced technology, such as machine learning, the rise in adoption of information technology in the healthcare sector, and usage of cloud for reducing cost and improving scalability, storage, and flexibility. Cloud computing involves the use of remote servers that are hosted on the internet to manage, store, and process data. A local server is not used in cloud computing, due to which infrastructure costs are reduced significantly. In addition to one-time set-up cost, maintenance cost is also lesser in case of a cloud-based architecture. The benefits of cloud computing were felt during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a shortage of healthcare workers, mass lockdowns, and a lack of coordination between healthcare services. For example, in May 2020, the Oklahoma State Department of Health launched a mobile app that allows healthcare workers to engage remotely with at-risk citizens who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. The app, which was jointly created by Google and MTX Group, uses the Google Cloud to enable the state to quickly contact citizens who report COVID-19 symptoms and send them to testing sites. Agencies were also using cloud-based data dashboards to provide real-time analytics and data visualizations to track and control the spread of the virus. In the last week of March 2020, the Australian Government's Department of Health launched its Coronavirus Australia App. Built on the Google Cloud, the app can offer real-time information and advice about lockdowns, the spread patterns, and healthcare information pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. These developments are expected to positively affect market growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a positive impact on the market for EHR. According to an article appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) in November 2020, the development, implementation, and evaluation of EHR-based data sharing networks and platforms and public health information systems are required in the fight against COVID-19. Since EHR systems can be multi-disciplinary, they can be utilized to collect and analyze data from public health departments, healthcare organizations, and socioeconomic indicators. This can be of immense importance while preparing to roll out programs designed to tackle COVID-19.
According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), EHR refers to an electronic version of patient health information that includes vital signs, patient demographics, progress notes, problems, past medical history, medications, laboratory data, immunizations, and radiology reports. Lack of interoperability prevented the sharing of this data. However, as companies are currently working to develop more patient-friendly interoperable devices, the situation is now changing. Complex healthcare systems require diverse EHR products so that information may be shared seamlessly. By enabling better workflows and reducing ambiguity, interoperable EHR allows data transfer between EHR systems and healthcare stakeholders much more easily. Thus, due to the factors mentioned above, the market is expected to witness a high growth rate over the forecast period.
North America holds a significant share in the healthcare cloud computing market and is expected to show a similar trend over the forecast period. The United States is a leader in the healthcare cloud computing market, mainly due to the high adoption rate of healthcare IT services and the continuous financial and regulatory support from government agencies. The implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) stimulated the adoption of EHR and supporting technologies across the country. According to the Act's provisions, healthcare providers would be offered financial incentives for demonstrating meaningful use of EHRs until a certain period of time, after which, time penalties may be levied for failing to explain such use. Cloud-based services are helpful for all stakeholders. Most healthcare institutions neither have the time nor resources to devote attention to cybersecurity that an established cloud provider may have. Moreover, established cloud providers rarely allow the leakage of data. According to a recent HIMSS Analytics Survey in 2018 in the United States, over 83% of healthcare organizations said that they already use cloud services. The survey also stated that the United States Department of Health and Human Services listed 412 data breaches that were under investigation in 2018. The huge number of data breaches calls for more robust implementation of cloud technology in the healthcare sector to improve security. Thus, owing to all the aforementioned factors, the market is expected to witness high growth over the forecast period.
The healthcare cloud computing market is a moderately consolidated market, owing to the presence of a few key players in the market. The companies are applying powerful competitive strategies to gain more market share. Some of the market players are Amazon Web Services, Dell Inc., IBM Corporation, Oracle Corporation, and Koninklijke Philips NV.
The companies are involved in various strategies such as new product launches and investments in R&D activities to sustain in the highly competitive environment. For example, in November 2020, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare suite to boost patient engagement, health team collaborations, and improve clinical and operational insights.