Why the Healthcare Industry’s Move to the Cloud is Accelerating

Microsoft Accelerator Tel Aviv Alumni share insights into how the cloud is transforming the healthcare industry.

In the same way that cloud computing has revolutionized the entertainment industry, with major successes such as ‘Netflix’, an early cloud adopter, and several other powerful industries (such as fintech or marketing), it seems like the health industry is rapidly catching up to be the next industry to successfully adopt the cloud.

Why is the healthcare industry’s use of cloud-computing growing aggressively? For these top three reasons: once connected to cloud computing, the startup platform is secure, maintaining the confidentiality of patient information; it is scalable, allowing economic growth as the data set increases; and it is collaborative, enabling health professionals to work with external partners. The better flow of mass data is turning innovative healthcare solutions into a win-win situation for all parties including patients, physicians as well the insurers.

According to Gartner Symposuion IT Expo’s poll in 2016, these needs drove $3.73 billion in healthcare spending on cloud services last year and will push that number nearly threefold to $9.5 billion by 2020. It is quite clear that cloud-based computing is on the rise in healthcare as physicians, hospital administrators, and patients demand cost efficiency, access to information and security.

Healthcare startups that went SaaS & scaled

Tom Valent, VP Business Development at Aidoc, a healthtech startup based in Israel, that has developed a revolutionary Artificial Intelligence technology that empowers the radiologist by detecting abnormalities in medical images, shares why moving to the cloud was essential for his startup: “Modern medical imaging such as a CT scanner produces hundreds of images per patient, requiring high performance computing for running deep learning algorithms to analyze them at a fast enough pace that can be applicable for providing immediate medical attention. With Aidoc’s AI solutions, deployed through the Azure cloud, radiologists are provided with more capabilities for their diagnosis, in time to make a difference.”

Tom believes that AI companies have only begun tapping the cloud's potential in healthcare: "With cloud-based deployment, Aidoc is in the midst of its path to provide radiologists with deep learning-based coverage across the full body by 2019. At the current pace of improvement of cloud-based computing power, we envision a future where the radiologist will utilize Aidoc's AI for predictive insights, too difficult for the human mind to comprehend."

The need to process huge amounts of data rapidly and efficiently is also familiar to Genoox, a health startup that specializes in simplifying complex genetic data, making clinical genetics accessible and actionable to both physicians and patients.

According to Amir Trabelsi, Founder & CEO Genoox: “Since its launch, Genoox has brought powerful clinical genomics to hospitals, medical centers and genetic laboratories improving detection rates for genetic disorders from 30% to 90%. One of the challenges for Genoox’s growth was the ability to build a robust, scalable computational infrastructure. Processing gargantuan amounts of genetic information is not only a lengthy process, but is also extremely costly. Plus, processing this amount of data can take up to weeks.”

Genoox turned to the cloud for the most cost-effective and scalable solution. By using Microsoft Azure’s innovative data management tools and an intuitive genomic data analysis workflow (enhanced by proprietary AI algorithms), the company was able to simplify data management and provide more accurate mutation detection and interpretation.

Trabelsi shares how selecting the right cloud was a major factor: “Early and accurate detection plays an important role in preventing and/or treating of diseases, which are caused by genetic abnormalities and mutations. Genoox not only cuts the time it takes to process the data from weeks to minutes and saves 90% in cost, it also helps individuals get early treatment, or in some cases, get a different treatment based on a rapid and more accurate genetic information.”

Genoox and Aidoc have proven that their innovation not only allowed them to build a scalable and sustainable business within this challenging industry, these innovative companies are also constantly improving the lives of medical practitioners, researchers, and patients around the world.

How the cloud will help revolutionize health innovation

Genoox and Aidoc set great examples of how innovation married with cloud computing technology can redefine the health industry. Deploying such innovative and revolutionary technologies to more and more medical centers and hospitals is constantly increasing as the global health industry as well as each and every individual, is starting to see the enormous value of moving to the cloud.

Hadas Bitran, Principal Group Manager at Microsoft Health Israel, founder of the Healthcare group in the Microsoft Israel and R&D Center, has high hopes for the future of healthcare technology. According to Bitran: “I believe it is our responsibility to leverage technology to help solve painful problems for humanity. The healthcare space has a lot of room for innovation and can contribute to improving the quality of life for people around the world.”

Seems like it is only a matter of time until we start seeing more and more unicorn startups in the health industry, thanks to cloud-computing.