Not sure what this new-fangled “cloud computing” thing is that you keep hearing about? Don’t worry, we’ll get you caught up in about 250 words.

Cloud computing is actually quite simple and has been around for a lot longer than you think. Cloud computing basically uses the internet to deliver services like software, infrastructure, and storage. The great thing about cloud computing is that it can be used on demand. And yes, it’s been around for a while. Cell phones use it when they store data on the provider’s servers not directly on your phone. If you use a web based email provider like Google (gmail) or Yahoo or Outlook.com, you’re using cloud computing!

See, it’s not that complicated! That’s also what’s great about cloud computing, most of the time you don’t even realize you’re using it.

Cloud computing has been growing in the medical industry. In 2011, it was estimated that cloud computing infiltrated the healthcare industry by 4 percent, with a value of $1.7 billion. What’s more, cloud computing is expected to grow by 20.5 percent between 2010 and 2017. The medical IT your practice may be using cloud computing for already includes EHR hosting and medical imaging. Physician practices and community hospitals alike are reaping the benefits of the cloud. Some use outside firms to house their IT system and others are creating their own cloud and extending it to satellite facilities. Cloud computing is ideal for medical imaging as large, detailed images can be stored off-site.

You made it! You’ve conquered cloud computing!