Telemedicine needs the cloud. On-premises applications involve enormous amounts of data for sending dense medical images and supporting real-time communication between millions of increasingly sophisticated digital health devices. The answer to this challenge has traditionally been to rely on the computing resources and flexibility of cloud architecture. Unfortunately, the centralized, multi-tenant cloud has brought its own challenges regarding data latency and privacy. It turns out, telemedicine doesn’t just need the capacity of cloud computing; it needs real-time relay as well. While some industries can tolerate lags in these areas, applications like robotic surgery require extremely low latency rates.
Many organizations have realized that progress lies in bringing things closer to home through edge computing. The "edge cloud" in particular makes promises that traditional, on-premises infrastructure couldn't keep: lower costs to maintain, the ability to keep current with new data requirements, and lower risk to patient data from cyber attacks and insider slip-ups.
The move to edge computing supports improving patient experience by leveraging innovation and prioritizing security, but it's also a potential strain on established technologies. This is where 5G, with its low latency rates, can be especially valuable. Edge computing and the lower latency rates inherent with 5G help bring the cloud closer to where healthcare happens. As a result, providers can accelerate their journey to a telemedicine strategy that fully embraces the potential of AI, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and the advanced analytics that support the patient experience of the future.