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The Cloud and Connectivity Driving Toward the Future

By Yair Briman, Senior VP & GM, Healthcare IT, Philips Healthcare

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Yair Briman, Senior VP & GM, Healthcare IT, Philips Healthcare

The cloud is powering new possibilities and expanding capabilities across healthcare, pharma and the life sciences. At the most basic, day-today operational level, storing large quantities of data in the cloud requires fewer resources for onsite support, both in terms of space and manpower. Data can be managed centrally and remotely, eliminating the need for server rooms. In addition, large on-site IT support teams are no longer necessary.

Another benefit to storing information on the cloud is remote access. This enables partner labs, hospitals, research facilities and vendors to all have access to the same information from anywhere. A researcher no longer needs to be at his/her workstation behind a firewall to get results of a recent test. Doctors do not need to be at the bedside to see how a patient is reacting to the latest stage of a clinical trial. The information they need is available to them anywhere at any time, reducing clinical decision - making time, speeding up processes and streamlining workflows.

This new web of connectedness fueled by the sharing and exchanging of data is also enhancing the information on which crucial decisions are made. Data compiled from various sources and stored on the cloud can be aggregated, something that was previously tedious when various parties were all storing data on premise. The centralized, aggregated data offers a richer, more contextualized perspective that can be analyzed and used to make more precise, better-informed decisions.

At Philips, the vital role cloud-based platforms will play in our future is at the forefront of our innovation pipeline. The HealthSuite digital platform facilitates connected care across the health continuum, serving as a base on which new applications can be developed to foster a more efficient and effective exchange of information that ultimately produces better outcomes.

This cloud-based technology can be used across large enterprises, connecting not just patient settings, but the pharmacies, research facilities, labs and home care providers. If a pharmaceutical company is working with an independent healthcare provider on a trial of a new drug, the seamless exchange of information between the parties will help the researchers make better determinations about the effectiveness of their product and ultimately make better recommendations to physicians about how to integrate the drug into a treatment plan.

The power of cloud-based data and what the pharma and life sciences industries can do with it is being amplified by the growing number of devices from which information can be collected. From phones and tablets to wearables and sensors, there is an ever-increasing web of interconnected devices that forms the Internet of Things. This is where the real excitement lies and where we’ll see the most growth. Any and all of these devices can connect to one another and to the cloud, adding new value and context that was previously unavailable, while also presenting infinite possibilities for new application development.

To fully harness the power of the cloud and connectivity, there are challenges that must be realized and addressed. The more data you accumulate, the greater the responsibility to manage security and privacy. Connectivity also introduces the need to collaborate. No one entity can be successful in a connected world without partners. But with a keen eye toward protecting the data that is collected and embracing new channels of collaboration, the potential for this new cloud-based, connected frontier is limitless.

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