Cruising Altitude 30 000 Ft. Please fasten your seatbelt. Welcome to the cloud !

Cloud computing is defined as the ability to automate a network of distributed servers held on the internet. In so doing it seeks to reduce the cost, increase the speed and increase the reliability of product/service delivery. According to the McKinsey Global Institute(MGI) the adoption private to public cloud platforms is gathering tremendous pace which by 2020 80% of enterprise cloud applications will be held on the public cloud and the remaining 20% operating privately for legacy and security reasons.

The only barrier in this shift is with respect to highly sensitive information dealing with compliance and security namely in the defense and healthcare industries.  The market for public cloud computing is tremendous estimated at USD $170 billion dollars in 2017 according to Forrester Research/Forbes. The race is on!

Of interest to me in the healthcare industry precision medicine and electronic medical records are where cloud computing is currently gathering tremendous momentum.

Healthcare is an industry that as described by Bill Gates is “heavily retarded in its current adoption of technology.” Looking across continents in my home Australia and in the USA the horizontal access to data across a patient lifespan is currently non-existent and the ability to vertically integrate the data at the point of care is absent.

The USA healthcare system as predominantly a private provider market is currently undergoing a steady transformation through the adoption of electronic medical records. Cloud computing enables data (EMR) to be stored off-site but accessible from multiple locations. As patients themselves become a data mines themselves through genome sequencing and increasing mobile device usage cloud computing becomes a keystone in how this data is stored and utilized by various approved parties. The real-time bandwidth in the data allows parties (doctors, researchers) to observe inflection points attributing detrimental disease outcomes or progression towards a disease. At the point of approval is where much of the problem with cloud computing arises at present.

Intel recently announced the Collaborative Cancer Cloud (CCC). Here clinical and research data is shared without the necessity to give up control. The individual remains tied to the data and the only party allowed to stipulate access to it. Eric Dishman (Intel Fellow and General Manager of Intel Health & Life Sciences Group) articulates that data sharing platform through immutable, transparent and secure manner is critical for the future of treatment. He further states that patients need to understand this in being able to as Joe Biden articulated at the Victorian Comprehensive Centre finding a cure for cancer a moonshot in his lifetime.

Cloud computing is a critical infrastructure piece for the future of precision medicine dosing integrating drug treatment, genomic data, and ontological data relating to the patient’s environment. Changing the focus and capacity for treatment from empiric guideline-based treatment modalities to data-driven decision plans can, therefore, be enabled.  Cloud computing technology presents a tremendous opportunity to horizontally integrate ‘shared’ data without compromising ‘ownership’ to enable batter patients outcomes. 


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2 comments on “Cruising Altitude 30 000 Ft. Please fasten your seatbelt. Welcome to the cloud !”

  1. Attractive title. Totally agree with you. This technology already exists and should be implemented in the medical field.
    The outcomes of pushing medical data/ research / clinical data to cloud computing is fruitful. Firstly, we think about how the “clients” will be. Imagine a future where we can access our own medical data, update it based on biometric sensor on our clothes, and based on all that, apps can access your data through api calls for analysis and predictions. These data can contain your drug allergies, specialised information or even genetic markers that can be useful in the help of diagnosis. When you go visit the clinic, you will confirm your identity and then the doctor will have access to your medical history. Thus, they can make better judgement and you will have a better experience. Secondly, we think about the “doctors” side. How would cloud computing be beneficial to the “doctors” side? Everyday, millions of patients are being diagnosed, that’s tons of data. If we can use this data as training data for machine learning, cloud computing can use such methods to provide assistance / recommendations to doctors for their better judgement, similar to what Google Assistant or Siri assists us, that would be awesome.

  2. Great title~~
    I got successfully lured in and found out the content is also interesting. I personally also found that cloud computing and blockchain stuff can be applied to better policy making in the sense of helping with data gathering and statistics analysis.


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