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Amazon Care Improves Telehealth Services and Patient Engagement Using AWS


Hybrid, in-person, and virtual healthcare delivery service Amazon Care provides accessible, high-quality patient care with a virtual-first approach. In 2019 the company piloted its healthcare services to Amazon employees in the Seattle, Washington, area, and 1 year later the company began offering Amazon Care to other employers. In 2022 Amazon Care announced that it would expand its service offerings to the rest of the United States, delivering 24/7 access to a medical care team through its mobile application and in-person care across 20 markets.

While building its service offerings, Amazon Care decided to go all in on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Its goal was to build an environment that would quickly scale to demand and facilitate the development of its mobile application and website. Using AWS services, Amazon Care has built a highly reliable, scalable, and engaging application and enhanced patient satisfaction by delivering convenient virtual services. 

Delivering 24/7 Virtual Healthcare Services

Amazon Care offers immediate and urgent care assistance to Amazon employees and members nationwide as an employer-sponsored benefit through an online care team. Using the Amazon Care application, patients can seek advice from medical professionals 365 days of the year using 24/7 live chat and videoconferencing features. “Patients can have peace of mind knowing that they can get in touch with a qualified clinician with just the tap of a finger, anytime and anywhere,” says Margaret Callahan, head of communications at Amazon Care. If patients require additional care, they can request an in-person follow-up, depending on their location.

Within 1 year, Amazon Care grew from serving 1 state to serving all 50 states through its mobile application. During this time the company invested its resources in future proofing its infrastructure so that it could provide continuity and convenience to its patients through highly available and secure virtual services. To achieve a high availability, Amazon Care considered several scalable cloud and serverless solutions on AWS.

Additionally, Amazon Care must meet stringent security standards for maintaining its patients’ protected health information and data, and it complies with industry-specific regulations, such as HIPAA. “Our philosophy is that patient data belongs to the patient and that we’re just the custodians of it,” says Adam Berger, director of technology at Amazon Care. 

image of nurse and patient

We rely on AWS serverless solutions because of their performance, elasticity, security, and ease of use.”

Adam Berger
Director of technology, Amazon Care

Improving the Amazon Care Application and Patient Experience on AWS

The company looked to AWS to build a scalable and reliable application with a set of solutions that it could use while maintaining its high security and compliance standards. Amazon Care adopted AWS GuardDuty, a threat detection service that continuously monitors users’ AWS accounts and workloads for malicious activity and delivers detailed security findings for visibility and remediation. Using AWS GuardDuty, Amazon Care can meet its stringent security standards and identify ways to improve compliance. Amazon Care also encrypts patients’ protected health information and data while it’s in transmission and at rest, and it restricts which users have access to this data to uphold patient-physician confidentiality. “We actually go above and beyond HIPAA guidelines in terms of the security controls we have in place to protect customer data,” says Berger.

To encourage patient engagement and communication, Amazon Care wanted to improve the reliability of two-way video calls on its application. The company trialed Amazon Chime—which lets users meet, chat, and place calls using a single application—alongside other third-party solutions, quantifying call quality through factors such as frequency of calls dropped, latency, and other connectivity issues. After trialing multiple solutions, Amazon Care decided to adopt Amazon Chime. “It was a no-brainer for us,” says Berger. “Amazon Chime came out on top for reliability, video and audio quality, and ease of integration.” The company embedded Amazon Chime in its application using SDKs and Tools on AWS, which helps companies access and manage AWS services with their preferred development language or solution. Using AWS SDKs, Amazon Care has created a seamless two-way audio and video experience for its patients and clinicians.

Moreover, Amazon Care has taken a serverless-first approach with its architecture, which helps it optimize compute costs and maintain a high availability on its mobile application and web services. For instance, the company uses AWS Lambda, a serverless, event-driven compute service that lets users run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers. Using AWS Lambda, Amazon Care set up its workloads to run across multiple Availability Zones, minimizing the chance of a service outage and increasing the reliability of its service offerings. “We rely on AWS serverless solutions because of their performance, elasticity, security, and ease of use,” says Berger.

Going serverless also means that Amazon Care’s teams can focus on deploying new features on its mobile application, facilitating staff productivity and patient engagement. In 2021 Amazon Care rolled out its Care Teams, which provide patients with the ability to select which clinicians they prefer to see. “When we first started Amazon Care, you would connect to the next available clinician,” says Berger. “We found that our members often liked to have a personal relationship with a few, select clinicians, who have seen them more than once.” Because its Care Teams are familiar with their patients’ medical histories, they can support improvements in patient outcomes and patient satisfaction through personalized care. While expanding its service offerings, Amazon Care has maintained a high patient satisfaction score. Currently, its members rate the service 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Amazon Care also relies on artificial intelligence to connect its members with the appropriate level of clinician. When patients call using the Amazon Care application, chatbots will ask them a series of diagnostic questions to assess the nature of the call. From there the artificially intelligent chatbots direct the patients to the appropriate service providers on demand. To process and route incoming customer requests, the company uses Amazon Connect, which can be used to set up a contact center in minutes that can scale to support millions of customers.

Providing High-Quality Care around the Clock

Amazon Care continues to look for ways to improve and expand the healthcare experience for patients using the latest AWS technology. “Working on AWS, we’re eliminating lengthy wait times and travel times to meet with a doctor,” says Callahan. “Patients can receive medical treatment in the comfort of their homes, on their schedules.”

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About Amazon Care

Amazon Care makes healthcare accessible through its hybrid, in-person, and virtual services. Using the Amazon Care application, patients can seek advice from an online care team on demand using 24/7 live chat and videoconferencing features.

Benefits of AWS

●       Connects patients with a medical professional in minutes

●       Creates a seamless videoconferencing experience for patients

●       Provides 24/7 telehealth services 365 days of the year

●       Exceeds HIPAA compliance guidelines

●       Optimized resources and compute costs

●       Received a 4.7- out of 5-star rating on its mobile application

AWS Services Used

Amazon Chime

Amazon Chime is a communications service that lets you meet, chat, and place business calls inside and outside your organization, all using a single application available for Windows, Mac, web, IOS, Android devices.

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Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect provides superior customer service at a lower cost with an easy-to-use omnichannel cloud contact center, which can easily scale up or down to meet demand, with the flexibility to onboard tens of thousands of agents working from anywhere.

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Amazon GuardDuty

Amazon GuardDuty protects your AWS accounts with intelligent threat detection and mitigates threats early by triggering automated responses.

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AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless, event-driven compute service that lets you run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers. 

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