Safe in the cloud
‘Personal health information is safe in the cloud’ says Miguel Coelho, Business Development Director with Oracle Health.
What is your professional background?
My name is Miguel Coelho, Business Development Director with Oracle Health.
I am a software and computer engineer by training and have been working with business systems for over 25 years in several roles, from development and consulting to product management, pre-sales and sales. Some 17 years ago, I got into Healthcare IT, and it became a passion. You can make so much more of a difference here than in most other industries!
In your current role, what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I am currently responsible for business development and sales of Oracle’s Health solutions into the EMEA and Latin American markets. These solutions help our customers address healthcare interoperability, analytics, genomics, and public health questions.
What do you think will be the lasting impact from the pandemic on the healthtech industry?
Many people have already said this but let me repeat it: the last 2 years has made the digital health sector advance at a rate that previously would have taken 5 - 10 years!
Things that we have been preaching about in the healthcare IT industry for many years now suddenly have been enacted due to more flexible data regulations (to allow for easier cloud adoption) to the more widespread acceptance of remote consultations or technologies like telemonitoring.
Now that people can see that these things work and bring quantifiable benefits, both from a cost and patient satisfaction perspective, these changes will continue to accelerate.
How do you see tech innovation transforming healthcare? What do you think will be the major breakthroughs over the next 5–10 years?
There are many areas where we will see tremendous impacts. Dealing with genomic data (along with the clinical data) will become much more widespread and will open doors to precision and even personalised medicine; data from personal devices will gain new weight and inform medical decisions; clinical trials will become much more decentralised allowing for faster medication and therapy development; AI and machine learning will be more routinely helping physicians with medical image interpretation and diagnostic; and giant databases of information will allow for much more informed health policy decisions (see for example the www.gpas.cloud, where entities from several parts of the world contribute with genomic information on the Coronavirus’ variants).
What do you think are the key challenges facing the industry?
Well, let me reply from the perspective of the Healthcare IT section of the industry. For us, many challenges remain the same as before. For example, it is still difficult to calculate the ROI in IT because that return may not be easily quantifiable financially. Instead, the return may be in improved outcomes, speed of decision-making, prevention of hospital visits, or – even more difficult to quantify – preparedness for the next pandemic whenever that may be.
So, we need to keep on working hard with the CIOs and other relevant stakeholders to help them justify to their boards why investment in IT is important and should not be sacrificed, even if there are many other competing priorities, from recruiting more nurses to equipping new wards.
Cloud technologies will be a major factor here since they reduce the need for upfront investment and simplify and accelerate the deployment of new solutions.
There will be a lot of changes with regards to “virtual” care, i.e., care that does not require a visit to the doctor’s office or hospital. This will take some getting used to for both the provider and the patient, but as it becomes the norm, I’m sure that trust will grow, and providers will also start getting more value from data that is obtained outside the healthcare setting e.g., data from wearables and other devices.
Are Healthcare companies now comfortable putting their data in the cloud?
It is now clear to many that personal health information is safe in the cloud – safer than in the providers’ own facilities and environments – and as data sovereignty issues are addressed, it will become its natural location. So, cloud adoption will grow, and companies like Oracle are here to help whether that is with our leading Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) or industry-specific SaaS applications.
Miguel Coelho is speaking at HealthTech Ireland’s 2022 annual conference, taking place in Croke Park on May 25th. For the full agenda and to book visit www.healthtechirelandconference.com