How the Cloud Helps With Medical Research and Remote Medicine – Business Insider

The cloud has had a major impact on data-driven medical research, enabling breakthroughs that otherwise would have taken substantially longer to happen. Such is the case with the massive, orchestrated effort that went into the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Using cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), researchers developed the vaccines in less than a year, and the effort required collaboration by various entities in the private and public sectors pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The monumental undertaking involved sharing large volumes of data as new discoveries occurred.

The development of these vaccines certainly is a major achievement for the pharmaceutical field. But there are several other examples of how cloud computing supports advancements in medicine, such as wearables devices that connect doctors and patience, storage of medical records, and remote surgery.

What makes the cloud so attractive to medical researchers comes down to the same characteristics that make it valuable in other fields elasticity, scalability, and the capacity to handle massive data volumes.

"One of the incredible powers of the cloud is that ability to scale up quickly," said Adam Glick, senior director of portfolio marketing for APEX Cloud Services at Dell Technologies. "Processing large amounts of drug discovery and trial data more quickly helps get lifesaving medications to people that need them faster. Imagine that you are in phase 2 trials for a new treatment, or you're in a much earlier stage doing drug discovery, and you want to analyze the data you're collecting. The ability to get data analysis in minutes as opposed to days can radically change the speed of drug discovery and approval, which ultimately mean saving more lives."

Without access to a cloud infrastructure, Glick added, the time and financial requirements to procure and set up the environment to conduct data-driven research are much higher. And once the project is completed, much of the servers and infrastructure used in the research may sit idle since they're no longer needed.

But with the cloud, "you can scale up your resources quickly and then you can process the data much faster," Glick said. This translates to faster development of life-saving drugs and treatments.

The cloud also plays a role in connected medical devices. Currently, 10 to 15 connected devices are used at each hospital bed. The global market for connected medical devices is expected to reach $158 billion in 2022, up from $41 billion in 2017.

Remote devices such as blood pressure, glucose, and heart monitors stay connected with clinics and physician offices, maintaining a continuous flow of data that helps enhance patient care. In some cases, timely data transmission can limit damage to a patient and even prevent death. If a device detects a problem with a patient, it can send an alert to dispatch an ambulance. In stroke and heart attack situations, a quick response can help minimize the impact on a patient.

Data transmitted from medical devices increasingly leverages edge networks, which place computing and analytics close to data sources and users to enable real-time decisions. But data that isn't used for real-time responses is stored in the cloud, where it can later be useful for research leading to new treatment methods and the development of therapeutic drugs.

Whether supporting operating rooms, wearable medical devices, or lab workers involved in critical research, the cloud already has proven critical to healthcare.

COVID-19 vaccines illustrate just how important the cloud can be, but as technologies and AI evolve to work together with the cloud, the list of possibilities of what medical researchers can accomplish is growing by the day.

Find out how APEX Cloud Services can help your R&D efforts.

This post was created by Insider Studios with Dell Technologies APEX.

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How the Cloud Helps With Medical Research and Remote Medicine - Business Insider

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