Case Study: How AWS is helping in propelling research in field of Healthcare
What is Cloud Computing? Why do we need it?
In the modern world of business, where thousands of startups born and die everyday, it is important to keep track and increase your profit margins by every possible way. The recent IT boom saw loads of new companies come into picture. Everyone who had a marketable idea opened a startup in order to make financial profits off of it. However one major problem plagued the all.
How to support your business when you don’t have financial capital to invest in hardware and software?
That’s right. Coming up with a marketable idea (which may or may not be feasible) is relatively easier as compared to figuring out how to support that idea on business domain i.e. providing your customers with a usable version of that idea. Lack of proper hardware and software support rang death knell for many startups in the pre-Cloud era.
Definition of Cloud according to AWS is,
“Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).”
In simple terms, in order to counter this problems, come corporate giants with a financial clout large enough to develop a huge infrastructure warehouse essentially developed such eco-systems and began renting them out to startups. This is gradually developed into full eco-systems consisting of various O.S, software, hardware and many other services distributed according to needs of the startup. AWS and Azure are major player in this field.
Cloud Computing and Health Industry
With rise if number of diseases and infections in 21st century, it was no surprise that health care emerged as a massive sector for research and investment. It also came as a no surprise that although relative slower, it has was to be transformed and ‘digitized’. The massive costs of servers and database was just unprofitable. This is where cloud came in :-
- Opportunity for Collaboration
- Scalable Data Storage
- Incentive for Application of Artificial Intelligence
- High quality Analytics
- Security Concerns
AWS in Cloud Computing and Healthcare
AWS is the leading Cloud service provider in the world right now. Having multiple data centers and availability zones around the world, it boasts superior service and features than it’s competitors. AWS provides multiple services catering to every possible need of an organization ranging from storage to computing to AI services. Have a look at vast amount of services they have!
AWS has been helping health care startups in digitizing their businesses. Being a company with huge resources and ability to provide them at any part of world, AWS stands at forefront of remote work opportunities in field of health care. Some of the features provided by AWS for healthcare startups are:-
- Amazon Healthcare Providers Innovation Program is a systematic framework for guiding financially impacted academic medical centers and provider organizations to recognize operational cost savings.
- Amazon Connect and EC2 services enable better data integration and collaboration between various health institutes in the world.
- AWS has launched the HPC on AWS for COVID-19 Research and AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative (DDI) to provide support for diagnosis, treatment, and vaccine studies.
- COVID-19 Dataset from Johns Hopkins is now available on AWS Data Exchange.
- Amazon Day One blog, the Healthcare Blog, the Public Sector Blog, and other social channels with up to date information.
Case Study: National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center
The National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center is a National Research and Development Agency, operating as one of the National Centers for Advanced and Specialized Medical Care in Japan. The hospital and research institute combine efforts to combat cardiovascular diseases, providing the most advanced medical services as well as conducting world-leading research and development.
AWS played a major role in helping the the center increase it’s operational efficiency. It simplified much of the procedures taken place at the center. In words of Ryo Haraguchi (Asst. Director):
“Before installing the cloud infrastructure, we needed to undertake various technical studies and adjustments, as well as attending to security, governance, and contractual details. Considering the security and operational benefits over the long run, however, it has been worth the effort.”
The National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, which was established in April 2014, had been running its own servers and facilities, but anticipated that the volume of data would rapidly increase, due to the fact that the Center would begin collecting and using information from medical institutions all around Japan. The Center planned to relocate all of its facilities by fiscal year 2018, and realized that using external services would make the relocation process smoother.
Security was another factor. The organization concluded that using a trustworthy external environment would improve safety and security over managing servers on its own, and decided to migrate to a cloud infrastructure.
In addition, the plan was to migrate the Centre’s entire network system to the cloud rather than migrating servers individually, so it placed greater emphasis on network flexibility, such as the number of VLANs, when selecting the infrastructure.
After a comparative review based on these requirements conducted by an evaluation committee, the Center decided to adopt Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the infrastructure that met all of its requirements.
In AWS the Center built a monitoring infrastructure using Hinemos and a log management infrastructure using Logstorage, with support from Mitsui Knowledge Industry (MKI).
Architecture used by AWS for the Center:
The Benefits of AWS:
After comparing the five-year operational costs, while taking into account the use of AWS Reserved instances, decision makers at the Center report that the costs of cloud use will be about equivalent to those of on-premises operations. But the security achieved from migrating to the AWS cloud brings significant additional benefits.
The Center also believes the migration to AWS will improve operational loads on internal systems. It plans to continue to make the cloud a top priority for its public website, which collects data on cerebral and cardiovascular diseases.