Cloud computing has passed through various phases until now, where it has devolved into aspects like healthcare cloud computing. Clients can employ web-based applications or tools through a web browser in the same manner as with programs installed locally on a personal computer. In the past when grid and utility computing was in effect, application service provision (ASP) and Software as a Service (SaaS) were available. Looking back, however, the true concept of availing computing resources through some global network is especially rooted in the 60s. Back in 1969, J.C.R. Licklider via his article Intergalactic computer Network facilitated development of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). This seemed to project a line of observation that all people around the globe required being interconnected for them to access data and programs at any site. Others recognize John McCarthy, a computer scientist who put forward the idea of computation getting delivered as some form of public utility.

Timeline of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has since the 60s evolved over a definite timeline, with Web 2.0 being a most recent evolution. The internet only began offering significant bandwidth in the 90s. Cloud computing for all has thus been developed recently as a concept and its timeline can be shown as outlined below:

1999 – Salesforce.com (delivery of enterprise applications through a simple internet site)

2002 – Amazon Web Services (provision of a cloud-based service-suite including computation, storage as well as human intelligence)

2006 – Amazon Elastic Compute cloud EC2 (facilitating small firms and individuals to operate individual computer applications using a commercial web service)

2007 – Google Docs (data storage service and Web-based office suite)

There are various other factors which have enabled evolution of cloud computing. They include universal high-speed bandwidth, virtualization technology as well as established universal software interoperability standards.

Increased storage, scalability/flexibility and cost reduction are just certain of the valuable benefits which can be derived. The prospect that healthcare cloud computing for example and nearly anything else is deliverable using the cloud gets to be more realistic. That said security, network performance, data privacy as well as economics all are vital concerns that can be addressed via diverse models of cloud platform delivery, including the Public Cloud, Private Cloud and the Hybrid Cloud solutions.

Footprints of Healthcare Cloud Computing

As shown above, cloud computing has been in use for many decades. Hospitals and healthcare systems just started adopting the flexibility, affordability and interoperability of cloud technologies in recent time. The model of cloud computing is suited very well to benefit healthcare applications. This is because of the information sources being many and diverse, making it easy accessing it from any point. Whether this is done to maintain health records, monitor patients, collaborate with peers, prescribe medication and even data-analysis, the healthcare industry will very likely continue tapping into the cloud. Greater attention is being given on security aspects of cloud computing in general. As well, more compliance is being accorded to standards of data privacy even as advanced interoperability and sharing of data takes place, together with having a proper DR in place. All these aspects are bound to make healthcare cloud computing to have real positive impact on the Healthcare operations.

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