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Cloud computing with analytics & AI seen catalyst to transform healthcare industry

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Cloud computing in combination with analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technologies has become the catalyst for change in the healthcare industry. The technology has emerged as one of the quick ways to support healthcare systems via telehealth, chatbots, and analytics/predictive modelling.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, cloud technologies have become the foundation of some of the key transitions and innovations in healthcare. Data analytics, telehealth and chatbots via cloud are fast-tracking healthcare response to COVID-19.  

Now data analytics and predictive models have emerged as a powerful weapon in the fight against the pandemic. Robust insights driven from massive volumes of data are used across the lifecycle of pandemic management, from diagnose to treat to cure and most importantly, for research and drug discovery, Amit Gupta, CEO & Founder , Rapyder Cloud Solutions told Pharmabiz.

Statistics reveal that 2,300 exabytes of healthcare data will be produced in 2020, as per the pre-COVID estimates. The current challenge is the disconnected, silo nature of these data sets, cloud-based data lakes enable easy access to data for analytics, he added.
Recently, Amazon Web Service (AWS) made its COVID-19 data lake which is a centralized repository of up-to-date and curated datasets on the pandemic which is publicly available for researchers and healthcare providers. The cloud firm has also worked closely with WHO to jointly leverage the power of cloud technologies to come up a number of services. WHO’s Academy app, ‘situation dashboard’, is an open WHO knowledge transfer platform. Its early warning system are built with help of AWS cloud technologies and other tools, he said.

Remote healthcare is by far the biggest change that the healthcare sector has adopted. Increasingly, medical care providers are looking at new models of healthcare delivery and healthcare management, including telemedicine and telehealth services.  This year, particularly the telehealth market is growing at a staggering 65 per cent.

AI-powered, cloud-based tele-consulting systems can take the load off the doctors and hospitals by providing medical information to patients, by assessing symptoms and risk factors. Cloud-hosted telemedicine and tele-monitoring are increasingly becoming common to treat home-isolated COVID-19 positive patients. Tele-counselling is reducing the risk of infectious exposure, workload on clinicians leading to better patient care, said Gupta.

Globally, hospitals and contact centers are swamped with enquiries since the outbreak. There is need for speedy response from the public health organizations and doctors to provide accurate information, triage new patients and advise further action. Many hospitals are looking at healthcare bots and triage bots to scale-up these efforts to engage with citizens. Most of these tools can be quickly deployed for websites or applications and deliver a self-service with a favourable conversation experience to people.

It does more than just providing the right information. Bots can triage patient needs, check symptoms, book appointments and is integrated with medical databases and protocols. Some hospitals are using chatbots to address mental health issues due to COVID-19, he said.


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