8 min read

Unleashing Healthcare Innovation: Uncovering Hidden Data Roadblocks in Cloud and AI Adoption 

The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving with the advent of groundbreaking technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and cloud computing. These advancements drive innovation, streamline processes, and revolutionize the patient and clinician experience. 

However, healthcare IT and strategy teams face unique challenges in digital transformation. Adopting cloud technology unlocks the transformative power of advanced analytics and AI tools. Yet, barriers hinder the seamless integration of clinical data, impeding progress. Overcoming these obstacles is essential to realizing healthcare's digital transformation potential.

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To help you understand and solve these challenges, our partner, Redox, has commissioned a white paper on Uncovering Hidden Data Roadblocks of Cloud and AI Adoption in Healthcare. In this post, we will introduce the white paper and share top-of-mind challenges modern health system executives face and how innovation in the cloud can help organizations:

  • Enable seamless access through fluid integration of data from electronic health record (EHR) systems, HIEs, and digital applications.
  • Enhance population health outcomes through the use of cloud-based machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to identify patterns, trends, and risk factors to proactively manage and prevent diseases. 
  • Elevate patient experience and loyalty by providing a streamlined patient experience with cloud-based patient portals and communication platforms to facilitate convenient appointment scheduling, virtual consultations, and easy access to test results, promoting a more patient-centric approach and enhancing overall satisfaction. 

Fragmented Legacy Systems vs. The Cloud

Historically, healthcare has relied heavily on locally stored, legacy systems, initially built for efficiency and data security. However, in an ever-evolving digital world, these systems have become barriers to innovation and process streamlining. While other industries have embraced the cloud, reaping benefits such as on-demand analytics, and advanced AI and ML capabilities, healthcare organizations are lagging in its adoption.

“Transitioning from legacy systems to the cloud is not only a challenging endeavor but a crucial one for healthcare organizations aiming to harness the power of advanced analytics and AI. By embracing this transformation, healthcare providers can unlock new possibilities for improving patient care, achieving scale and operational efficiencies while driving innovation in the industry."
- Raheel Retiwalla, Chief Strategy Officer, Productive Edge

Despite this initial adoption lag, Redox has found that 95% of healthcare executives recognize the significant impact that cloud technology will have on their business strategies within the next 24 months. 

It is crucial for healthcare organizations to understand and overcome the challenges associated with cloud adoption to unlock hidden data and transform the dynamics of healthcare. By transitioning clinical data into the cloud, healthcare providers can harness the transformative power of data intelligence to gain valuable insights, drive evidence-based decision-making, and revolutionize healthcare delivery for the betterment of patient outcomes.

Navigating Cloud Adoption Obstacles: Charting the Path to FHIR

Cloud-based innovation in healthcare brings forth exciting opportunities, despite the obstacles ahead, particularly in efficiently ingesting clinical data into the cloud at scale. According to the research highlighted in the white paper, data integration, and interoperability are recognized by 51% of healthcare executives as the most significant barriers to achieving strategic priorities

While a lack of technical expertise also remains a major barrier, the introduction of FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) has revolutionized healthcare interoperability, enabling resource-strapped IT teams to leverage familiar and accessible standards for clinical data exchange. With interoperability legislation and private industry efforts supporting FHIR, it serves as the cornerstone of transforming the healthcare IT landscape. This optimistic shift toward streamlined connectivity methods and standardized resources paves the way for a more interoperable and transformative healthcare ecosystem. 

But when it comes to transforming legacy data into FHIR for cloud ingestion, provider organizations face several key challenges that are crucial for unlocking the full potential of FHIR and the successful transition of legacy data into the cloud.

Budget Constraints

While transforming legacy data into FHIR for cloud ingestion is a necessity, it poses a significant financial and human capital challenge, with more than 60% of executives anticipating a lack of budget to facilitate the ingestion and translation of clinical data into the cloud.

"The paradox of budget constraints surrounding cloud integrations is real. While they are costly to initiate, it is crucial to recognize their significance in driving business strategies. By looking beyond immediate costs and focusing on long-term potential savings while aligning investments like utilization of disruptive AI and ML tools to strategic goals, organizations can unlock transformative business benefits." - Raheel Retiwalla, Chief Strategy Officer, Productive Edge

Implementing and maintaining cloud integrations demand specialized expertise, exacerbating staffing challenges for health systems. 

Mapping and transforming data often uncover non-standardized standards, creating unexpected roadblocks. Despite these obstacles, healthcare organizations can leverage innovative solutions and external expertise to enable successful cloud integration. 

While budget constraints can hinder clinical data ingestion projects, strategically managing costs and scaling AI and ML tools can drive advancements. Overcoming capital limitations becomes paramount in revolutionizing healthcare data transformation through the power of FHIR and achieving enhanced outcomes.

Investment in Talent

Enabling real-time interoperability between legacy systems and the cloud is a complex task that organizations need to tackle. Translating millions of messages and records from legacy standards to FHIR each day can be daunting, even for well-staffed teams. It requires building a technical architecture that supports fast messaging speeds and reliable execution. 

The technical architecture required to facilitate truly real-time clinical data exchange can take years to build, optimize, and perfect. That’s why it’s critical for organizations to invest in their teams to build and maintain a strong infrastructure which includes:

  • Scalable integration design
  • Flexible data exchange
  • Standardized configuration and processing
  • Proactive monitoring and error handling
  • Safeguarded compliance

Developing in-house expertise through continuous learning and attractive career paths is key to overcoming resource shortages. By investing in their people, organizations can successfully navigate the complex journey toward real-time interoperability and unlock the full potential of cloud-based healthcare data exchange. It may require a hefty upfront investment, but the long-term benefits are worth it in terms of improved patient care and streamlined healthcare processes.


When it comes to cloud integrations in healthcare, staying on budget and meeting deadlines can be quite a challenge. The technical complexity and resource limitations often lead to frustrating delays, pushing back the achievement of project goals. 

According to the white paper research, only a mere 32% of projects were completed within the expected 6-month timeframe, while almost 40% took 12 to 24 months or are still a work in progress, falling behind schedule.

These delays not only affect budgets but also dampen project sentiment and impact overall business and clinical outcomes. It's disheartening for healthcare professionals to see their cloud integration plans derailed. 

However, there's a silver lining to this. 

Working with experienced integration partners can make a world of difference. Their expertise and know-how can help accelerate project timelines and prevent cost overruns caused by delays.

Navigating Obstacles and Embracing Innovation Through Strategic Partnerships 

Strategic partnerships play a vital role in the successful adoption of cloud technology and data transformation in healthcare. 

By working closely with an integration partner, organizations can benefit from several benefits including:

  • Access to expertise: Digital strategy and technology integration experts provide healthcare organizations with access to specialized knowledge and experience in cloud technology and data transformation needed to navigate the complexities of adoption and ensure effective implementation.
  • Resource augmentation: Partnerships bridge resource gaps, providing the skills and support needed to adopt cloud technology and transform data.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Strategic partnerships provide cost-effective solutions by leveraging vendor expertise and infrastructure, eliminating the need for organizations to invest in costly resources and improving financial efficiency.
"Strategic partnerships with technology vendors deliver cost-effective solutions and bridge the technical resource gap. As an experienced healthcare digital transformation expert, I've seen the value that third-party consultants, systems integrators, cloud technology platforms and healthcare specific solution providers bring in realizing cloud adoption and data transformation goals." - Raheel Retiwalla, CSO, Productive Edge

These collaborative partnerships enable access to the right tools, resources, and support needed to drive effective and efficient implementation, ultimately leading to improved healthcare outcomes and enhanced patient experiences.

Applying Key Takeaways

Cloud technology offers immense opportunities for healthcare organizations to optimize, innovate, and scale. However, transforming legacy healthcare data into FHIR for cloud ingestion poses challenges due to resource constraints and budget barriers. 

To bridge the technical resource gap and make cloud-based innovation central to their strategies, healthcare providers must collaborate with seasoned integration experts who understand both legacy standards and FHIR. This partnership expedites the mapping of healthcare data, enabling real-time ingestion into the cloud and facilitating scalable and reusable data transformation infrastructure. 

As the regulatory shift towards better interoperability and value-based care models demands a robust cloud infrastructure, it is crucial to address challenges such as the lack of data standards, inconsistent data formatting, and the handling of vast amounts and various types of data. By embracing healthcare transformation and value-based care, organizations can leverage cloud technology to drive improved patient outcomes and achieve transformative results.

To learn more about how Productive Edge can help your organization accelerate cloud migration and innovation while leveraging the latest emerging technologies, contact us today.

Download the Redox white paper Uncovering Hidden Data Roadblocks of Cloud and AI Adoption in Healthcare to explore:

  • Core challenges to ingesting clinical data into the cloud
  • Key use cases identified as drivers for cloud investment
  • Cloud technology business outcomes driving strategic investment
  • Critical challenges in cloud adoption
  • Biggest data-ingestion challenges
  • And more
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