Innovating In Digital Health Using AWS

Ganesh Laxminarayan, Executive Director - Health IT / CTO, The Innovation Institute
Ganesh Laxminarayan, Executive Director - Health IT / CTO, The Innovation Institute

Ganesh Laxminarayan, Executive Director - Health IT / CTO, The Innovation Institute

Recent data published by Rock Health shows that close to $5.5B has been invested in digital health companies by venture capitalist, year to date, with $1.3B in Q3 ’19. Venture funding in this sector remains at an all-time high. Globally, digital health deals are approximately 31% of venture-backed funding in healthcare, according to CBInsights in their recent Q3 ’19 report. These are just a couple of data points to demonstrate the activity in the digital health sector. Innovation is at the heart of these digital health companies, aiming to improve a variety of challenges that exist in healthcare today.

Innovation, by definition, carries significant risk; but it can be rewarding if executed successfully. Failures can prove very expensive, along with significant risks, which can deter many. Regardless, early-stage innovative companies continue to demonstrate value and revenue growth, as shown in the recent reports from Rock Health and CBInsights. Should I let the risk and cost prevent me from building a digital health (cloud, mobile, hybrid) solution that could improve patient care, improve outcome, patient and provider satisfaction, and more? The answer is no. AWS and its broad suite of HIPAA eligible services should be considered for digital health solutions.

Why AWS? Here are a few reasons:

- AWS provides quality infrastructure and components

- AWS provides the best security available, at a fraction of the traditional cost

- AWS provides numerous HIPAA compliant services and resources

- AWS reduces the burden of expensive physical security controls for safeguarding data

- AWS provides scalable and purpose-built analytics tools to analyze your data

- AWS allows you to start small and scale up; this allows you to manage your costs and avoid overpayment for resources

  AWS and its broad suite of HIPAA eligible services should be considered for digital health solutions  

The last point is what attracted me to AWS eight years ago, and continues to. AWS enables me, along with other brilliant minds I work with, to “think big,” “think different,” but start small and then scale up, with reasonable investments. The broad array of services offered by AWS allows me to work with my team to architect, develop, test, launch, and validate new solutions in the market cost-effectively. Eight years ago, I started using AWS for the rapid development and deployment of SaaS solutions using their EC2, S3, RDS, ElasticSearch, and RedShift services. These were stable, secure, and scalable services for launching and validating new SaaS services in the healthcare market, again cost-effectively. The adoption of cloud-based solutions in healthcare eight years ago was very low, in my opinion. As a result, keeping infrastructure costs as low as possible was desirable. AWS enabled me to do just that.

Today, healthcare executives are starting to embrace Cloud / SaaS-based services for a multitude of reasons. Needs, however, have changed. There is a huge appetite in healthcare for AI, machine learning, and predictive analytic solutions to ingest and digest an extraordinary volume of patient data, imaging, and more. Handling protected health information (PHI) safely and securely is extremely vital when leveraging these technologies. AWS has been extremely responsive to these needs by introducing HIPAA compliant services that allow incubators, healthcare organizations, startups, and others to continue innovating in digital health. Their portfolio of HIPAA compliant services continued to grow at an extraordinary pace and made available at affordable costs. Which in turn, allows me to work with innovators to bring life to their ideas!.

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