The healthcare landscape has changed drastically over the years. Without a doubt, technology has played a vital role in enhancing and optimizing not just hospital management and operations, but also in personalizing patient care.

In recent years, revolutionizing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and IoT have brought in a paradigm shift in the way the healthcare industry operates, bringing in more efficiency, dependability, accuracy, and better patient outputs.

In this blog, we discuss one more transformative technological solution – Edge computing, that could soon be the next game-changer in the healthcare domain.

If there’s anything vital in healthcare, it is data and information. Looking at the enormous amounts of data engaged in the healthcare industry, the need for more structured and smart data storage and processing is critical for quick medical intervention. Therefore, robust IT network support, along with accurate data processing solutions, can redefine healthcare facilities, making patient monitoring, diagnosis, and remedial intervention easy, fast, and accurate.

Edge computing, being a very agile and accessible solution, offers the very same benefits for the healthcare industry.

Data – The backbone of the healthcare industry

From the very beginning, data and information have been the backbone of the healthcare industry. However, practitioners, hospitals, or clinics have had their methods for storing and processing data. Predominantly, hospitals, up until now, have been using a centralized data storage facility or cloud storage and then having it distributed over a wide-spread network. The majority of data comes from different locations such as clinics, individual hospitals, etc. and it usually comes in an unstructured form.

Edge computing, also called as fog computing,  is helping healthcare institutions distribute their data to make it available quickly and securely. Edge computing improves network efficiency, as it also reduces the amount of mobile data.

So how does Edge computing benefit healthcare?

Edge computing directly impacts data management and processing. It brings data storage and processing closer to where it is produced. Instead of storing and processing the data at a centralized location, edge computing facilitates data processing at the edge and delivers faster results to clinicians. As the data is decentralized, it is more secure, saves bandwidth, is quickly available, and is transmitted efficiently. By offering proactive decision-making capabilities and responsive actions, edge computing helps augment speed, efficiency, while also saving time, cost, and efforts.

Enhanced Connectivity

Some of the portable IoT devices, when combined with edge computing, have greater ability to gather, store, analyze, and distribute data remotely. Edge computing can solve connectivity issues and can work for remotely located patients as well. As a use-case, patients with wearable IoT medical devices on them can be quickly diagnosed from anywhere, anytime, and the data gathered can be distributed to a central server whenever connectivity is available. The characteristic localized processing power of edge computing can facilitate access and medical intervention for patients that are remotely located.

Healthcare as an experience

Enhanced patient care experience is one of the critical aspects of healthcare today. It is not just the availability of medical intervention but an outstanding patient experience that can transform the dynamics of the healthcare industry. For example, a combination of smart devices and edge computing can now enable patients to check the appointment, keep a calendar, and find a hospital, virtually connecting with doctors anywhere, anytime. For critical patients, time is extremely crucial; in such cases, edge computing comes as life-saver, reducing the time lag for effective and quick decision-making – even in areas with limited connectivity.

Data Management

Data management is made easy with edge computing technology. For example, a massive amount of undefined and unstructured is being generated in the healthcare industry. This makes it difficult to optimize data and get accurate results. Edge computing helps gather health-related data and get real-time analytics to interpret it and respond to medical emergencies. Also, anomalies can be quickly detected with a rapid response time that can actually save lives – making the industry more reliable and dependable.

Combating Healthcare Challenges

The typical challenges of the healthcare industry, such as data management issues, limited availability of IT administration talent, complicated computing systems, and network with unstructured controls, any network downtime, or mangled database administration can become a life or death situation. In such a scenario, edge-computing can put things in perspective. Its dynamic nature can help free-up staff, resolve budget issues or bring more structure to all the unstructured data and compliances, while also protecting data and guarding it against data breaches.

 Conclusion

Supporting the data-driven healthcare industry, edge computing is changing the way healthcare institutions operate and deliver care. Being aligned with today’s healthcare needs and demands, edge computing is the next ‘in-thing’. It is making this life-saving industry more transformative, with the focus being on effective healthcare outreach and personalized patient care. At a time when the healthcare scenario demands a more responsive, accurate, and efficient data processing, edge computing is set to be the game-changer!