If you are in the business of Cloud and were in Las Vegas last week, I ‘bet’ you had an awesome week! For a first timer, re:Invent was everything I imagined. All of the sessions, new service launches, the keynotes and endless networking opportunities made it a fantastic conference. Monday at re:Invent was Industry Day - focused on industrial applications of the world’s leading cloud platform. I was able to attend a number of sessions focusing on the Healthcare Industry.
Healthcare as an Industry
As part of my role at TriNimbus, an APN Premier Consulting Partner, I work with new TriNimbus customers in the Pacific Northwest of the US. I’ve been fortunate to work with Healthcare customers in Canada and the US over the past 15 years across varied technologies such as core datacenter infrastructure, client device encryption and data security, and am now focused on Cloud and DevOps strategy.
It was great to sit in on several deep dive sessions to see how AWS (Amazon Web Services) is being adopted to improve patient outcomes, deliver better healthcare informatics, and drive financial results (either cost savings or profitability, depending on the situation).
The sessions had a wide degree of variety and were presented by different members of the community (payers, providers, and suppliers). Healthcare project successes in the AWS Cloud are increasing in velocity.
When I was reflecting over the day with my colleagues, we discussed how the healthcare capabilities on AWS have grown significantly over the last 3-5 years. AWS has continued to invest in expanding service coverage and adding new services eligible for HIPAA.
If you’re considering dipping your toes into the AWS ecosystem, these are common themes I observed that are important to follow. And yes, they all lead back to our favorite topic related to the Healthcare industry: SECURITY and PATIENT PRIVACY.
The Shared Responsibility Model
The Shared Responsibility Model of the AWS Cloud is critical to understand and your CISO office is one of the most important members to be involved in planning up front. While compliance starts with protecting PII, and managing within HIPAA, HITRUST, or general ISO 27001 standards - the vendor ecosystem working with AWS is extensive, and support is readily available on Day 1 of your journey into AWS.
AWS Well-Architected Framework
Have your team read and understand the AWS Well-Architected Framework and its specific guidelines. If you weren't yet aware, one of the 5 core pillars of the Well-Architected Framework is Security and the Appendix of the framework provides very clear recommendations to start from.
Infrastructure as Code
Infrastructure as Code is critical to use in order to drive predictable, audit-able software development release cycles. Core IT and Dev teams should never work from the AWS console, but rather use automation tools such as AWS Cloud Formation, Terraform, or Ansible. Reference architectures are readily available to review and start from.
Agile is Key
Agility is important - start small to think big. Taking legacy applications and simply doing a “lift and shift” of those into the cloud will not derive the most benefit - it is important to spend the time upfront to establish goals and consider refactoring of quick wins first on your journey.
Healthcare Analytics Transformation
And finally, Healthcare analytics are ready to be transformed - legacy Enterprise Data Warehouses can be transformed in very meaningful, strategic ways into real time data lakes. AWS and its ISV (Independent Software Vendor) partner ecosystem have a number of solutions ready for evaluation via the AWS Marketplace.
If you work in the Healthcare industry and aren’t yet considering utilizing Cloud technologies you might be missing out on cutting edge technology that could be transforming your business, your practice and your patients lives. If you’d like to hear more about how the Cloud and AWS can transform your business, or, if you are already in the Cloud and want to learn more about the latest innovations in Healthcare, please contact us.