Is Cloud-Based Technology the Key to Treating Chronic Disease?December 8, 2017
Despite being one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, the United States still harbors one of the most unhealthy populations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven of the top 10 causes of death are chronic illnesses, and nearly half of American adults are afflicted with at least one chronic health issue. Despite having limitless knowledge at our fingertips, we still can’t seem to get our health in check.
However, we do have one technology that shows promise in tackling this widespread dilemma: the cloud. Not only does the cloud further research and help with the management of chronic diseases, it can help prevent them too. Hybrid cloud computing, health apps, and internet of things (IoT) can all take part in the improvement of people’s health and healthcare in general. Need a little more information? Here’s what you need to know.
Improving Disease Research
Although research equipment has evolved and given us new and better ways to pinpoint the causes and cures for diseases, it appears that research methods have not. At a time where there’s unprecedented connectivity, many researchers still work independently from one another. This is a big contributing factor why there is little headway in finding a cure to many diseases.
Researchers are limited to their own data, which means their findings will be limited too. Valuable time is wasted when multiple doctors are testing for the same thing and get the same conclusions. If researchers knew the results of studies from other doctors, patterns would be much more readily seen and needed tests performed since the amount of usable data has increased.
This is where the cloud comes in. After researchers saw how big data was being used by companies to depict consumer trends, doctors realized they could use the same practices for themselves to track diseases and epidemics. By using the cloud to share health data, researchers from all over can have access to information they never would have otherwise.
Although desktop computers have a hard time analyzing and computing huge sets of data, the cloud does not, so the more data the merrier. With the cloud, progress to cures of debilitating diseases can finally be made.
Easing Disease Management
Technology isn’t just used to make our lives easier. In fact, it plays a big role in people’s health and how they manage chronic illnesses. Wearable tech and health apps connected to the cloud are used by many people nowadays, providing critical information to health providers about their patients’ health. Due to wearables, doctors can make judgements on how effective medications or procedures are and whether or not changes need to be made.
Also, by having electronic health records (EHR) easily available through the cloud, patients will have a better understanding of their results, which will in turn encourage more informed at-home care. Communication between doctors and patients will also open up and help keep each party up to date on any concerns or issues.
Health apps are a big part of disease management as well. Different apps and wearable tech can record different vital signs and remind you to take your medication and when to pick up a refill. Relevant information is also sent to your doctor so that your data can be screened and analysed to see where your health is at.
Tackling Disease Prevention
It’s best to stop the onslaught of a disease from the get-go, then learn how to reverse or manage it later. Thankfully, cloud-based technology also plays a part in the prevention of chronic diseases. Through the use of IoT, your health can be monitored and tracked to see if there’s anything you can change in your lifestyle to promote wellness.
This can help with early detection as well so a disease can be treated before it does any real damage. As mentioned before, the sharing of medical data on the cloud has numerous benefits to the health of individuals. Since researchers will have access to almost limitless amounts of information, doctors will be better able to tell the causes of diseases and what risk factors look like.
With the help of health apps and wearables, fitness and eating plans are provided to help those patients who seem to be likely candidates for a disease. Cloud-based EHRs also offer a more personalized experience by alerting healthcare providers when patient data seems to point to a needed course of action. We are already seeing the benefits of this increase in awareness and technology with diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and prostate cancer afflicting less and less people.
Chronic diseases seem to be more rampant than ever, despite advances in the fields of medicine and technology. It may seem sometimes that healthcare is at a standstill, but with the advent of cloud-based technology, things can become dramatically different.
Doctors will be able to access massive amounts of data to further their research, and people who are currently afflicted with a chronic disease will be able to manage its symptoms with greater ease. The hope is to prevent these diseases from ever happening, but in order for that to happen, we need to embrace the cloud.
About the Author
Avery Phillips is a unicorn of a human being who loves all things relating to people and their entrepreneurial spirits. Comment down below or tweet her @a_taylorian.