Healthcare organizations generate a significant amount of data through the use of sensors, electronic health records, and digital imaging systems. However, when this data is analyzed remotely, which is a common occurrence in the healthcare sector, a number of issues can arise, such as network reliability problems, latency delays, and bandwidth congestion. These issues can disrupt the process and hinder outcomes, making it critical for healthcare organizations to consider new ways to analyze their data.
Some of the most forward-thinking organizations have already implemented technologies that help medical teams collect and process data more efficiently and accurately, which can influence clinical and research interventions in real-time to support better patient outcomes. One such technology is edge computing, which allows organizations to store and process data as close to the source as possible.
Approximately 30 percent of the world’s stored data comes from the healthcare sector. Many American hospitals have started connecting edge devices to their hospital beds to make it easier for healthcare staff to monitor patients in real-time. As the healthcare industry becomes more reliant on edge computing, it is estimated that 75 percent of medical data will be produced by the edge. Managing these devices, keeping up with smart technologies, and introducing more virtual interventions will require massive data processing, which is why healthcare organizations stand to benefit greatly from edge computing capabilities. Some advantages organizations can look forward to include:
- Lower bandwidth costs: Edge computing keeps all data, particularly high-bandwidth sources like videos, closer to their operations, reducing bandwidth costs and saving organizations money.
- Increased security: Data, particularly healthcare data, is incredibly sensitive and requires higher security than other industries. By keeping data closer to the source, organizations can protect their company and patient data from cyberattacks and data breaches.
- Streamlined infrastructure: Data processing done on-site is much more streamlined than off-site processing, eliminating any disruptions and inaccuracies that can occur along the way.
- Lower latency processing: Edge devices help healthcare staff in a number of ways, such as safer surgeries and faster diagnoses. One example of this is HCA Healthcare using an edge-powered sepsis diagnostic solution that helps their staff detect sepsis a day earlier than traditional means. Giving healthcare professionals access to real-time feedback to help with patient outcomes requires lower latency processing.
As more healthcare organizations adopt edge computing technology, it is exciting to see how it makes care more efficient and creates better patient outcomes. Forward-thinking organizations that utilize edge computing help push the healthcare sector into the future, significantly impacting life-saving solutions.