Edge computing is the new paradigm in the data era. It allows data to be collected, analyzed and processed locally without the need of an external remote server or platform, thanks to the so-called “cloud”. With the boom in connected medical devices, the healthcare industry is said to be one of the leading sectors to adopt edge computing. But is edge computing just another buzzword? At In Your Hands we believe that edge computing holds great promises for healthcare.


Healthcare data is booming

With the deployment of the IoMT and artificial intelligence (AI), an exponential volume of healthcare data is generated everyday (and even every second!). Today, approximately 30% of the world’s data volume is generated by healthcare, experts say.
One obvious challenge is accessing and analyzing data swiftly and securely. The reason is that timely access to accurate healthcare data can save lives. Both edge & cloud computing are part of the digital healthcare ecosystem, but what are the differences between the two systems and how can they improve healthcare?


What is Cloud computing?

Cloud computing consists in using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

Cloud computing holds many advantages among which we have identified :

  • on demand accessibility: data is accessible everywhere and at any time, baring that an internet access exists
  • data security: cloud service providers are major tech companies such as Amazon and Google, with security being their number one priority
  • scalability: again, cloud service providers can adapt to an ever growing volume of data

According to some experts, cloud computing has helped the entire healthcare industry to embrace digital technologies and converted it into HealthTech.


Edge computing v. cloud computing

Edge computing is changing the way data is collected and stored. This technology allows users to collect, analyze and make use of data closer to the source, “on the edge” instead of pushing data to the cloud.
Some of the advantages of edge computing are:

  • edge computing is not internet-dependent and does not rely on a good wifi connectivity
  • edge computing eliminates latency – the time taken to access the right data
  • edge computing makes decision-making easier by providing opportunities for faster response times

One compelling application of edge computing is self driving cars. The large amount of data created by the sensors placed in the car needs to be processed quickly in order to ensure safe and reliable driving. That’s why edge computing holds so much potential in healthcare, processing data where it’s needed most: at home, in the ambulance, in the hospital or in the operating room.

Though edge computing is still in the early stages of its application in healthcare, it is seen as a disruptive technology that will accelerate the adoption of technologies such as AR and VR in healthcare.

Will it succeed in unlocking the power of data? Or put it differently, will it transform the millions of data collected into valuable and actionable insights and definitely shape the future of healthcare?  The betting is that 2022 will be an exciting year for edge computing, hence for healthcare.