Can Cloud Computing Help Fix Healthcare? – 08/23/10

AUG 23

(The following is an excerpt from an article our colleague Scott Donahue authored for CloudBook magazine on hCloud – read the full article here)

Few topics have dominated the political news cycle over the past year more than health care reform. The recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are aimed at improving the quality, cost, and accessibility of health care in the United States – an indisputably massive but much-needed undertaking.

Aside from political debates in Washington, the technology industry continues to buzz about cloud computing. It may seem, at first glance, that health care reform and cloud computing are unrelated, but TripleTree’s research and investment banking advisory work across the health care landscape are proving otherwise; the linkage with cloud is actually quite significant.

Our viewpoint is that cloud computing may end up mending a health care system that has largely let a decade of IT innovation pass by and now finds itself trapped in inefficiency and stifled by legacy IT systems.

Much has already been written about cloud computing’s potential and demonstrated successes at helping enterprise IT infrastructures adapt and transform into more efficient and flexible environments. But where does cloud computing fit within health care?

We have long espoused that innovation in health care needs to come from outside of the industry. Today, the likes of Amazon, Dell, Google, IBM, Intuit, and Microsoft have built early visions for cloud computing and see a role for themselves as health care solution providers. We are convinced that traditional HIT vendors will benefit from aligning with these groups such that their domain-specific knowledge can attach itself to approaches for cloud (public, private and hybrid), creating a transformational shift in the health care industry.

Cloud is active, relevant and fluid…see our colleague Jeff Kaplan’s recent blog post on the changing competitive landscape.

We’d be interested to know what you think…have a great week!

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Chris Hoffmann