Coviu and AWS Collaborate to Deliver More Than 4.7 Million Telehealth Sessions to Australians
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Coviu has enabled over 4.7 million Australians to visit doctors virtually. The company enhances healthcare consultations by integrating video with clinical tools. The Coviu telehealth platform runs on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud servers and the Amazon DynamoDB database.
At the Forefront of Remote Healthcare
Coviu, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner, has been at the forefront of telehealth services since 2012—when the company’s leadership team participated in an Australian government project to determine requirements for healthcare video conferencing. The requirements were encapsulated in novel video telehealth software, and in 2018, the team launched Coviu as a business entity to make it easier for Australians to access telehealth.
Coviu telehealth is particularly beneficial to patients struggling to reach healthcare facilities, such as in rural areas or for patients stuck at their homes for various reasons. The platform gives patients timely access to healthcare providers rather than scheduling future appointments and traveling many miles.
Helping Keep Australia Healthy
When COVID-19 struck Australia, Coviu was ready to help the country maintain its healthcare services and contain the virus. Private and public healthcare providers deployed the telehealth platform, and as the need for telehealth escalated to limit in-person contact, Coviu experienced a dramatic spike in activity. To handle the surge, Coviu and AWS worked closely to harden and scale the infrastructure supporting the solution. This made it possible to conduct all patient sessions, which rose in the first couple of weeks from 400 to 25,000 per day. “In 2020, our platform handled three million visits,” says Dr. Silvia Pfeiffer, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Coviu. “This helped keep the virus from spreading since people did not have to travel to clinician’s offices and interact with multiple people.”
Flexibility to Adjust Compute Resources
Coviu telehealth services integrate with diagnostics to help doctors assess patients and determine treatments. The platform can also connect to on-demand translation services when a doctor and patient do not speak the same language. In addition, the platform links to backend billing services to streamline payments. When first using the infrastructure to power the solution, Coviu relied on the AWS Activate program for the usage credits and technical assistance that help startups reduce costs as they work to generate revenue. While Coviu focuses on developing the telehealth application, AWS manages the infrastructure to ensure the platform performs consistently.
Key AWS services that Coviu relies on include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) server instances and the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) database with in-memory caching that delivers fast responses to healthcare provider queries. Coviu also uses Elastic Load Balancing to scale down reduced server needs at night and on weekends. Machine Learning on AWS provides the environment in which Coviu codes artificial intelligence processes to assist in diagnosing patient conditions while Amazon Kinesis produces server logs. Additional AWS services include Amazon Simple Notification Service to generate text notifications to healthcare providers, Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring servers, and AWS Key Management Service to encrypt private keys.
“In June 2021, when Australia went through another lockdown, we had to scale up again. AWS gives us the flexibility to adjust compute resources as the workload fluctuates.”
- Dr. Silvia Pfeiffer, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Coviu
“AWS services played a key role when we needed to scale up quickly as the pandemic hit, and it was just as important in helping us scale down when the workload subsided so we could control costs,” says Pfeiffer. “In June 2021, when Australia went through another lockdown, we had to scale up again. AWS gives us the flexibility to adjust compute resources as the workload fluctuates.”
Working Collaboratively to Expand into a New Market
AWS has also assisted Coviu in optimizing the cost of its cloud infrastructure. “Our costs increased when we scaled up,” Pfeiffer says. “AWS showed us how pre-purchasing reserved server instances lowers costs, and we cut our costs in half—even as we deployed a second infrastructure in another AWS data center.” This deployment exemplifies how well Coviu and AWS work together. The partnership began because Coviu decided to offer its telehealth solution to the US market, and through the AWS Global Startup Program, the two companies are collaborating to plan product development, go-to-market, and co-selling strategies. AWS also provides a crucial tool to help set up the infrastructure in Coviu’s US data center. AWS CloudFormation speeds up cloud provisioning by using the infrastructure-as-code process. “We created a blueprint of our infrastructure in our primary data center that we easily duplicated in the US,” says Pfeiffer. “Any changes we apply in Australia automatically replicate to the second data center.”
Achieving the Mission to Improve Patient Outcomes
The Coviu platform has now processed more than 4.7 million telehealth sessions since the start of the pandemic. Pfeiffer next plans to capitalize on the AWS Public Sector Partner Program, which will give Coviu access to AWS sales, marketing, and funding teams. Additionally, the program can help Pfeiffer identify potential partners and connect with prospects. “We will continue to add functions, such as patient forms and vital-sign monitoring as well as assessments for speech, mental health, and physical therapies,” Pfeiffer concludes. “It’s great to have a cloud partner like AWS that allows us to focus on new capabilities like these by taking care of the infrastructure. This helps us achieve our mission to continuously enhance our telehealth platform so our healthcare clients can improve patient outcomes.”
APN Program Participation
Published October 2021