Mentions of cloud computing within the filings of companies in the healthcare sector fell 14% between the third and fourth quarters of 2021.
In total, the frequency of sentences related to cloud computing during 2021 was 38% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.
When healthcare companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Cloud computing is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.
To assess whether cloud computing is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of healthcare companies, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned cloud computing at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 55% compared to 31% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to cloud computing.
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Of the 20 biggest employers in the healthcare sector, Cerner was the company which referred to cloud computing the most during 2021. GlobalData identified 72 cloud-related sentences in the United States-based company's filings - 0.9% of all sentences. DaVita mentioned cloud computing the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.05% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high cloud mentions included Quest Diagnostics, Tenet and UHS.
This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on cloud computing and how important the issue is considered within the healthcare sector, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning cloud computing more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into cloud computing have been successes or failures.
In the last quarter, healthcare companies based in the United States were most likely to mention cloud computing with 0.22% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in Western Europe mentioned cloud computing in just 0.02% of sentences.