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After a mad rush to roll out telehealth offerings during the pandemic, the value of cloud computing for health organizations is now undeniable. And tech giants are capitalizing on the opportunity to pull more and more health care data into the cloud.

Moving to the cloud has always been a numbers game: As demand for remote care ebbs and flows, cloud infrastructure can help hospitals deliver it without buying servers and building a physical system for a need that could evaporate tomorrow. More than enabling virtual care, though, cloud vendors are pitching unified “data lakes” to store, structure, and analyze records about patients, operations, and finances. In recent weeks, the country’s leading cloud vendors — Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services — have all pushed new services and rebranded old ones to convince health care systems that their lakes are the ones to swim in.

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