The COVID-19 pandemic has proven how important cloud services are for both government agencies and healthcare providers—and their use is only expected to grow in the near future. According to recent data, the global healthcare cloud computing market size is expected to expand by $25.54 billion from 2020 to 2024.
When the virus first emerged, the first priority was managing the spread. Covidapp.eu developed an app which allows anyone to upload their movement history and cross-check it against records of infected people. The company used that data to map and visualize the trajectories of positive cases, and it has been sharing this tool with governments, healthcare, and media organizations to create maps of newly found cases in hopes of controlling the spread of COVID-19.
Governments also rely on cloud services to provide financial assistance to SMBs that are struggling due to pandemic shutdowns, as well as making sure its medically at-risk citizens are safe. For example, in the UK, PA Consulting helped Hampshire County Council launch a program to identify, contact, and even arrange care for individuals who were more likely to be impacted by the virus. Initially, the local authority was using a traditional contact center to call local residents, but PA Consulting’s automated solution processed the calls 12 times faster and reduced staff needs by 92 percent, at 10 percent of the cost of the human contact center.
It’s not just COVID-19 patients that are benefitting from the cloud. When the virus caused a backlog of elective surgeries, technology from Axial3D allowed doctors to turn static CT scans and other 2D images into 3D-printed anatomical models, reducing the time needed to complete complex surgeries by an average of 62 minutes, while post-surgery recovery times have also improved by 15 percent.
Of course, with online services comes cybersecurity risks. A study from security vendor Vectra, which develops network threat-detection and response technology, found that the rush to boost cloud services due to the pandemic carries risks, and organizations will need to be cautious and diligent to avoid what the World Economic Forum1 (WEF) has called a possible cyberpandemic down the road.