"Our partnership with AWS has been a great experience, and building atop AWS HIPAA-eligible services lets us leverage our software engineering investment towards building products and functionality for our customers versus managing infrastructure. ClearScale provided us the boost we needed to get our applications consolidated to AWS in a way that meets best practices around scalability, security, and availability."
Rupen Patel CTO, Influence Health

Influence Health provides a range of solutions and services to hospitals and healthcare providers, including marketing, healthcare, IT services, care management, product development, project management, and strategic account management. The Birmingham, Alabama-based company, which has more than 275 employees in offices across the United States, serves more than 1,100 healthcare providers.

Influence Health’s customer relationship management (CRM) solution helps hospitals and healthcare providers that are struggling to create a unified view of their consumers and patients from data silos in call centers, patient portals, diagnostic equipment, electronic medical records (EMR), pharmacy records, medication interaction checkers, and more. Influence Health’s CRM provides a unified view of the consumer as well as machine learning-based predictive models to help decision makers target the right information to the right people at the right time and place, which takes a huge amount of data behind the scenes. Today, more than 150 million consumer records are connected through Influence Health technology.

Influence Health also offers a comprehensive digital marketing system that is easy for healthcare providers to use and affordable to manage, with little to no dependence on IT. The solution helps healthcare organizations present a consistent experience across channels, both online and in healthcare facilities. Its marketing solution was the first in the healthcare industry to offer direct integration to social media APIs, with extensive capabilities to track, manage, and report on the results of sophisticated healthcare marketing programs.

With its large and growing customer base, the company needed to migrate to a larger, faster, and more flexible cloud implementation. Influence Health needed to meet HIPAA compliance requirements, increase demand for larger patient databases and automated data transformation, and implement a new architectural design.

Influence Health had previously been using Microsoft Azure to host approximately 90 percent of its platform, primarily to run and manage virtual machines, scale sets, load balancers, as well as housing blob storage. The remainder of its cloud platform was on AWS to run non-Microsoft solutions such as MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Apache Spark, and Elasticsearch, as well as others. Clearscale re-architected the flow of application data and Protected Health Information (PHI), which requires HIPAA compliance, to migrate Influence Health’s entire cloud platform onto AWS. This redesign integrated the solutions previously run only on AWS to work across the company’s environment in a seamless manner.

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An example of one of Influence Health's application tiers

PostgreSQL RDS simplified maintenance of PHI due to its HIPAA compliance. ClearScale also identified many system components that did not store PHI and moved them to move them to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances directly. Future work includes use of Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR) and Amazon ElastiCache, AWS managed services that remove the need to manage and maintain manually deployed instances.

The only remaining obstacle to meet HIPAA compliance involved the storage of PHI data. Without adding too much complexity, ClearScale used Filebeat and Logstash, tools to process and transform data, to ship logs to Amazon Simple Storage (S3) Buckets that encrypt and then store all other data on encrypted EBS volumes. Clearscale leveraged this using native AWS security features.  

The next step was automation. ClearScale automated the deployment of AWS managed services and other services that still needed to run on EC2 instances, using AWS CloudFormation, Ansible, and Docker. Clusters are created and scaled using a simple manual process.

Once ClearScale completed the development of CloudFormation templates and Ansible playbooks, it deployed staging, production, and disaster recovery environments, which were handed over to the Influence Health team as they were completed.  

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Influence Health's marketing platform and its use of Cassandra, AWS EMR, and cross region replication for disaster recovery

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The API platform and its use of MongoDB, AWS ElastiCache Redis, and Windows DFS for file sharing using AWS Auto Scaling groups and launch configurations over multiple availability zones for high availability

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CRM application and its use of RDS PostgreSQL in a Multi-AZ configuration, AWS ElastiCache Memcached, and the web application, using AWS Auto Scaling groups and launch configurations over multiple availability zones for high availability

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Shared services and the use of Kafka, Zookeeper and Amazon Elasticsearch, serving the API, marketing platform and CRM 

To maintain and meet AWS high availability and security standards, the new system was deployed between three availability zones with only necessary secured services in the public subnets and all other services stored in private subnets. AWS makes this simple with the use of  managed services, VPC, NAT Gateway, VPC Peering, VPN Gateways, and Elastic Load Balancers.

With this new highly available and secure deployment in AWS, Influence Health can now scale faster and offer their services with the peace of mind AWS brings.  

After ClearScale migrated the CRM and Digital Marketing system to AWS, Influence Health leveraged a DevOps workflow to more quickly add functionality while maintaining security and cost advantages. Influence Health has plans to add new capabilities using AWS Lambda in conjunction with a container-based orchestration service that will support fully automated deployments and scalable Docker containers.  

As innovative offerings on AWS continue to revolutionize the cloud, companies like Influence Health recognize that legacy cloud architectures simply don’t offer enough efficiency, flexibility, or scalability.  "Our partnership with AWS has been a great experience, and building atop AWS HIPAA-eligible services lets us leverage our software engineering investment towards building products and functionality for our customers versus managing infrastructure," says Rupen Patel, CTO of Influence Health. "ClearScale provided us the boost we needed to get our applications consolidated to AWS in a way that meets best practices around scalability, security, and availability." says Rupen Patel, CTO of Influence Health.  

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ClearScale is an AWS Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner with the proven capability to design, deploy, automate, and manage complex cloud architectures. Its core competency is delivering custom cloud projects for clients who have limited cloud expertise or resources.

For more information about how ClearScale can help your company build and manage your AWS environment, see ClearScales' listing in the AWS Partner Directory or visit www.clearscale.com.

To learn more about how AWS can help your migration initiative, visit our AWS cloud migration details page.