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Cloud Computing Comes to Healthcare Sector, But May Drift Over Developed Economies

Improved electronic data systems are eagerly anticipated in hospitals across the world, but their implementation may be balanced on national financial climates, according to a new report by business intelligence experts GBI Research.

The new report* shows that the growing popularity of Hospital Information Systems (HIS) will create future profits in the healthcare IT market.

Cloud computing has been dubbed the 'next big thing' in healthcare IT, enabling data to be stored on servers not owned by the company, saving both space and money.

According to the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), there are several hundred vendors currently offering some form of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) in the cloud. In return for a fee, the EMR vendor hosts and manages the hospital's software and technology infrastructure.

However, major suppliers are focusing their attention towards emerging markets such as India and China, as funding for healthcare is decreasing in many developed countries due to the global economic recession, which badly damaged government finances in the US and Europe. Post-recession growth has been restricted significantly in the healthcare IT industry, due to risk aversion and cost-cutting measures across the industry. For this reason, emerging economies and countries in the Asia-Pacific, such as South Korea and Taiwan, are proving to be more attractive markets than countries such as the UK or US.

Advantages offered by cloud computing include the reduction of costs, improved accessibility of applications and off-site management of data, which increases efficiency and security in data management.

The cloud is now being widely hailed as a less expensive, more secure alternative to traditional computing networks used by physicians and healthcare organizations worldwide. As healthcare IT becomes more widely used, and data storage and retrieval costs increase, more hospitals are expected to adopt cloud computing, boosting the healthcare IT market.

The global healthcare IT market is forecast to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.3% to $20.5 billion in 2017.
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