Reaching for the skies: Healthcare and cloud computing

Healthcare has traditionally been a late entrant in adopting new information technology innovation, and the Cloud is no exception. In terms of markets, the US has been a first mover in healthcare Cloud applications. The EU has spent a great deal of time and effort assessing its implications, above all on data privacy. Britain, however, may have taken the most significant steps to begin endorsing use of the Cloud in its healthcare system.

Cloud computing comprises platforms and applications (online operating systems, file and data sharing), as well as infrastructure (Web-based data storage and access). Service providers bill users on the basis of  subscriptions or pay-as-you-go. The latter is a key incentive for growing interest in the Cloud, given that it allows businesses to reduce upfront investments and scale up on the basis of real requirements rather than anticipated ones. The Cloud