When it comes to the healthcare sector, especially about cloud technology, not all models are created the same and support the healthcare community effectively. Cloud technology in healthcare refers to the exchange of computing resources and to provide data to multiple devices when needed.
Different services models are available in healthcare like PaaS (Platform as a service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a service), and SaaS (Software as a service). These models work as a layer together, with each service providing different levels of control.
PaaS provides healthcare developers with a framework to build applications and includes a software development kit. It gives organizations flexibility and scalability while minimizing the coding needed to develop an app.
It gives clients more control over the applications and allows control over different apps that are specifically created for the institution by developers. It is a cloud computing model in which third parties deliver multiple hardware and software tools that are needed for application development. It hosts software and hardware on infrastructure.
It helps users in several ways and lets them free from installing software and hardware to run an application. Furthermore, it provides cloud-based components and allows developers to create reusable applications fast. Platform solutions allow creating a network of multi-organizational data, which is important for the healthcare industry in reducing cost and quality.
Healthcare PaaS apps provide the platform and allow the users to run, develop, and to manage applications without maintaining the infrastructure associated with developing and launching an app. It enables healthcare providers to deploy applications effectively. PaaS developments allow organizations to provide data and to develop new applications.
Let us understand the difference between PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS, and how they are making an impact on the healthcare sector.
What Do You Understand by the Terms PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS?
It is a computing model between IaaS and SaaS. It can deliver everything from simple-cloud apps to sophisticated ones. Like IaaS, it also includes infrastructure - servers, networking, and other development tools. It provides a platform and allows a customer to manage applications without building the infrastructure associated with launching an app.
PaaS simplifies web application development and has similarities with serverless computing. The user, be it a nurse or healthcare stakeholders, are allowed to access healthcare data through an app instead of a web browser. The difference between SaaS and PaaS is the control of these apps. PaaS includes a software development kit and focuses on app development.
It is the best form of cloud computing and allows users to run applications from anywhere via the internet. SaaS solutions are managed by the vendor and eliminate the need to install and run applications on individual devices. It is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis.
It is also known as on-demand software and is considered to be part of the nomenclature of cloud computing. It is subscription-based and results in lower upfront costs. The SaaS application is already installed and speeds up the start-up process. It takes care of hardware and software processes and eliminates the workload and responsibility of customers. It has become a common model for any business applications like messaging software, DBMS software, human resource management, and more.
IaaS is Infrastructure as a service. It is an instant computing infrastructure and is made of scalable and automated computing resources. In an IaaS model, a cloud provider hosts the components present on-premises data center. It also provides a range of services and includes detailed billing, log access, and storage resiliency. IaaS helps you avoid the expense and manages physical servers. Common examples of IaaS are Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, and Linode.
It puts more responsibility on users, who manage data, runtime, and operating systems. Users can install programs and build applications on top of the IaaS structure. With IaaS, teams can set up and dismantle tests and bring new applications to market faster.
Running websites with IaaS is less expensive than traditional ones. It provides the infrastructure to support web apps, web, and application servers. The team can deploy web apps on IaaS and scale infrastructure when needed.
Organizations Use PaaS for These Scenarios
It offers a framework and allows users to customize cloud-based applications. Additionally, it helps users in creating applications using built-in software applications. It features high-availability and scalability.
PaaS tools allow organizations to find insights and patterns and to improve forecasting and investment returns.
Things Included in PaaS
PaaS providers offer other services such as workflow, security, and scheduling. It delivers a framework for developers and is used to create customized applications.
The networking can be managed by a third-party provider. PaaS vendors offer database management, middleware, operating systems, and other tools.
PaaS provides developers with a database management system.
It is the next layer in the cloud computing service model and includes everything that is in IaaS. A PaaS provider manages physical data centers or purchases them from IaaS providers.
It is a software that is featured between machine operating systems and user-facing applications. For instance, it allows the software to access data from input devices. It is necessary for running applications, but the users don't interact with it.
A PaaS provider maintains the operating system and the applications run on.
Advantages of PaaS for Healthcare
It doesn’t matter what the size of your business is, PaaS offers several benefits to the organizations.
1. It Builds Applications Quickly
PaaS builds the application quickly, without worrying the developers about configuring their platforms and backend structure. They write the code and test the application. The rest of the work is handled by the vendor. The development tools cut the time that developers use to code new apps.
2. It Works on the Same Environment
Right from app-building to testing and hosting to updation is done in the same environment. Working in the same environment gives developers confidence that applications will work properly. Furthermore, it also simplifies the application development lifecycle.
3. It is Cost-Effective
With PaaS, overhead is reduced because the customers don't have to manage virtual machines. Additionally, some vendors charge only for the computing resources used by the application, and this is how a user saves money.
Also, you don’t have to hire additional employees for work. There is no need to buy independent hardware tools, spend hours on maintaining the stack. A company can avoid hidden costs while managing its platform.
4. Easy Licensing
It handles the licensing for operating systems and other things that are included in the platform.
5. Future-Proofing and Enhanced Security
With PaaS, new features and errors are instantiated automatically in the cloud. It gives access to hardware and operating systems.
Over the years, security threats and data breaching in the healthcare organization is increasing day by day. It ensures the user’s safety, and thus, the developers can develop apps with more confidence.
6. Improved Time to Market
With PaaS, the increased speed and development is the major advantage in cloud computing. The process of setting the software to run an application is time-consuming. But with PaaS, the process is simplified, and it enhances agility.
7. Better Scalability
It helps you to scale the growing IT requirements and also allows the customers to run services without any hustle. It provides better performance by allowing them to access their resources.
PaaS includes the automatic allocation and releases the necessary resources based on the number of users served the application. PaaS offers better scaling.
8. Continuous Updates
PaaS experts perform the necessary component updates and ensure that the application is running on the updated stack. Also, automatic updates minimize the risk of security gaps.
Challenges in PaaS
It offers several benefits to healthcare organizations, but it has certain limitations too.
1. With PaaS, the information is stored off-site. But with the right data practices, the team can ensure that the system is secure and private for the users. Also, the business is governed by the provider’s functional capabilities and reliability.
2. Sometimes, an error may occur when two or more systems connect. Therefore, it is important to understand the problems before solving them in the future.
3. For apps that contain sensitive data, this might not be a great option. Also, it is majorly dependent on the vendor’s capabilities.
To ensure that you have connected with the right PaaS provider, choose a provider that scans web applications on the internet, uses single sign-on capabilities, facilitates secure communication between database and application, and analyzes mobile applications.
Before you include any of these apps, make sure that you know the needs of your healthcare and customer requirements. It is important to choose the right model depending on business requirements. The three computing models have their benefits and disadvantages and can be used differently.