Business Productivity

How Cerner uses the Amazon Chime SDK to enhance its virtual health strategy

As a global health care company, Cerner provides a range of technology and services to its clients. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, an area of focus for Cerner was enabling care at a distance through virtual health solutions. Cerner clients were rapidly deploying and scaling virtual health solutions to meet the needs of their communities and deliver medical services amid stay-at-home orders across the globe. A July report from the Department of Health and Human Services showed 43.5% of Medicare primary care visits were provided virtually in April while many care providers were restricting in-person care.1 In anticipation of a continuing need to deliver virtual visits, Cerner needed a scalable, elastic approach to meet surging utilization and global demand for virtual health capabilities. The Amazon Chime SDK in Cerner’s suite of virtual health solutions enables embedded virtual experiences to increase global access to care.

For 40 years, Cerner has worked at the intersection of health care and information technology to connect people and systems around the world. It uses the latest technology to create solutions that enables communities and people to engage in their own health. Whether it is supporting the clinical, financial or operational areas of a hospital or health system, Cerner tools are designed to work for today and think for tomorrow. Cerner supports its clients by surfacing data, enabling organizations to make informed decisions for better management of operations. At the same time, it arms clinicians with the information they need to provide smarter care. Empowering them to know, engage, and manage the communities they serve, with the goal to transform the way health care is delivered.

The Amazon Chime SDK is a set of real-time communication components that developers can use to quickly add audio, video, and screen sharing capabilities to computer, web and mobile applications. Developers can use the same communication services that power Amazon Chime, an online meeting service from AWS and deliver engaging experiences in their applications. Using the Amazon Chime SDK, developers can help eliminate the cost, complexity and friction of creating and maintaining their own global real-time communication services. The Amazon Chime SDK is available in 18 regions across 52 Availability Zones around the globe.

Using the Amazon Chime SDK, Cerner integrated video collaboration into its consumer engagement applications, so patients can consult with clinicians on health issues remotely. These video engagement capabilities are built into the Cerner Millennium® electronic health record (EHR) and HealthelifeSM patient portal solution. Providers and patients alike can access these capabilities in existing workflows and applications. There is no need to switch to a third-party video service and deal with PINs and meeting IDs. To avoid impacting existing workflows, Cerner also needed to accommodate large groups of essential workers without retraining them. The control plane was integrated into the virtual health solution, and models were updated to support new resource types.

User workflows check device compatibility and use updated service responses to initialize the Amazon Chime Client SDKs. Regular updates were delivered to testing partners and feedback was directly incorporated for all users. Media regions and networking requirements added performance gains for clients and continue to support a growing number of device configurations and other features.

The Cerner mission is to relentlessly seek breakthrough innovation that will shape health care of tomorrow. Cerner believes what it does doesn’t just impact health care – it impacts the world, which is why now, more than ever, Cerner believes health care is too important to stay the same.

1 Bosworth A, Ruhter J, Samson LW, Sheingold S, Taplin C, Tarazi W, and Zuckerman R, Medicare Beneficiary Use of Telehealth Visits: Early Data from the Start of COVID-19 Pandemic. Washington, DC: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. July 28, 2020.


Andy Penn, Vice President - Cerner Corporation and Michael Antonelli, Associate Principal Engineer - Cerner Corporation

Andy Penn, Vice President - Cerner Corporation and Michael Antonelli, Associate Principal Engineer - Cerner Corporation