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Baxter Provides Hospitals Data-Driven Insights Using AWS IoT Core


Connecting Medical Devices to Improve Care

Today’s healthcare providers have the opportunity to use connected medical devices that can deliver not only life-saving treatment but also provide data-driven insights for designing more patient-centric care. Baxter International Inc., a global medtech company, has connected its devices to the Internet of Things (IoT) to securely and remotely access data so that it can deliver complex and lifesaving therapies, improve decision making for clinicians, and give patients better control over their health outcomes.

AWS re:Invent 2021 - How Baxter Innovates Digital Health Connectivity Using AWS

AWS has given us many of the building blocks we needed to get started and to advance.”

Mike Butler
Senior Director of Digital Products IT, Baxter

Accessing Data Insights on Baxter Devices Remotely and Securely

Baxter is leading a companywide digital transformation, which includes migrating 1,400 business applications to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and developing its team to adopt the capabilities of the cloud. “This journey really shifted our mindset from an on-premises, legacy data center one to a cloud-based one,” says Mike Butler, senior director of digital products IT at Baxter. One result was the TrueVue solution, a cloud-native application with serverless application infrastructure, low fixed costs, and high agility capable of delivering solutions around the globe. “We think many of our applications are going to make the same transformation,” says Butler.

TrueVue connects Baxter’s continuous renal replacement therapy devices—which filter and clean the blood of critically-ill patients whose kidneys are not functioning—to AWS IoT Core, a service that simply and securely connects devices to the cloud. Using TrueVue, the device securely and seamlessly transmits data to the patient’s electronic medical record, providing auto documentation and visibility in how the therapy is being delivered across patients. The solution also transmits aggregated, anonymized data to Baxter. “We take anonymized data from the device, take it back to the AWS Cloud, and present to our sales teams and consultation teams aggregate data on how the therapy is being delivered at the hospital level,” says Butler.

TrueVue uses AWS IoT Core to communicate with the medical devices using secure protocols and to transmit the device data toward a data store. Baxter stores data in Amazon Redshift, a petabyte-scale cloud data warehouse that uses SQL to analyze structured and semi-structured data across data warehouses, operational databases, and data lakes. Once data is stored correctly, Baxter can analyze it using Amazon EMR, a cloud big data service for running large-scale distributed data processing jobs, interactive SQL queries, and machine learning applications. The system connects to Baxter’s existing enterprise systems, and using security features, the company can give specific users access to run analytics. “AWS has given us many of the building blocks we needed to get started and to advance,” says Butler.

Improving Data Access and Optimizing Costs While Staying Secure

Previously, to gather data on how its devices were functioning, Baxter would have to schedule appointments at the hospitals and care facilities to physically access the machines and download the data to a laptop. Now using TrueVue and AWS, Baxter can collect and analyze the data remotely, gather near-real-time metrics, and perform proactive monitoring. Rather than worrying about scaling or maintaining architecture, the company can focus on helping hospitals optimize patient care. “Using the AWS native components that we have available to us, we focus on the therapy instead of the technology,” says Butler.

By using AWS, Baxter has no fixed costs or upfront, off-the-shelf licenses it must buy, and it benefits from the AWS pay-as-you-go pricing model. “The cost savings was a first step for us. It’s helped us now to reinvest that in research and development, in innovation around the devices, bringing new solutions to patients,” says Butler. The solution is also globally deployable, allowing Baxter to implement applications in less than 2 hours instead of days using the continuous integration and continuous delivery pipelines. Cybersecurity is also a critical benefit. “We chose AWS because of its ability to meet a lot of the certification needs around the globe,” says Butler. “The cybersecurity in these devices—and on any medical device—is critical, and we’ve identified ways to separate the design from change.” Ultimately, the data that Baxter can access with its secure, cost-effective cloud solution on AWS provides patients and clinicians with a richer understanding of patient treatment and health.

About Baxter

Founded in 1931, Baxter is a global medtech company whose mission is to save and sustain lives.

Benefits of AWS

  • Reduced fixed costs to near zero with no upfront license fees
  • Facilitated data access remotely
  • Provided near-real-time metrics and monitoring capabilities
  • Facilitated global deployments
  • Sped up application deployments from days to under 2 hours
  • Developed secure methods to access devices

AWS Services Used

AWS IoT Core

AWS IoT Core lets you connect billions of IoT devices and route trillions of messages to AWS services without managing infrastructure.

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Amazon Redshift

Amazon Redshift uses SQL to analyze structured and semi-structured data across data warehouses, operational databases, and data lakes, using AWS-designed hardware and machine learning to deliver the best price performance at any scale.

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Amazon EMR

Amazon EMR is the industry-leading cloud big data solution for petabyte-scale data processing, interactive analytics, and machine learning using open-source frameworks such as Apache Spark, Apache Hive, and Presto.

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