LactApp Optimizes Breastfeeding Support with VOD on AWS Foundation
LactApp strives to make breastfeeding simpler for mothers around the world. The company has consistently used technology to enhance its mobile app, a repository of valuable, on-demand resources on topics like breastfeeding and lactation, fertility, and breast health. However, LactApp recognized a gap in its offerings: users needed video content so that they could visualize breastfeeding tips and techniques.
Having used Amazon Web Services (AWS) since 2017, LactApp began searching for a low-maintenance, scalable video streaming solution in the AWS Solutions Library. It found Video on Demand on AWS Foundation (VOD on AWS Foundation), a solution that is designed to help customers start encoding video files on AWS. After adopting this video streaming solution, LactApp grew its number of downloads and implemented valuable new features, like subtitles.
Video on Demand on AWS Foundation was really simple to use and simple to set up. We were able to scale it to our needs, which had been a challenge for us.”
Chief Technology Officer, LactApp
Connecting Users to Valuable Breastfeeding Resources
Based in Spain, LactApp was founded in 2016 with a mission to enhance maternal healthcare by making perinatal and postnatal information more reliable. Its mobile app has been downloaded more than 650,000 times and provides custom responses to users’ questions. “LactApp is the first app dedicated to breastfeeding and motherhood that strives to answer any question a mother might have in a very personalized way,” says Maria Berruezo, COO and co-founder of LactApp.
When LactApp began to work on its subscription model, it was receiving multiple requests from users to add images and videos to the app. Breastfeeding can be a complex, experiential journey, and watching videos on various techniques can be helpful for new parents. “We decided we were going to start our new subscription model with video, and that’s when I found one of the video streaming solutions in the AWS Solutions Library,” says Rocío Tovar, chief technology officer at LactApp. VOD on AWS Foundation facilitates video encoding on AWS Elemental MediaConvert, a file-based video transcoding service with broadcast-grade features. “VOD on AWS Foundation was really simple to use and simple to set up. We were able to scale it to our needs, which had been a challenge for us,” says Tovar.
Enhancing the Mobile App with Video Streaming on AWS
After implementing VOD on AWS Foundation in July 2021, LactApp made two types of video content available to its users: a library of 140 videos that can be accessed on demand; and topical features that are processed, shared with audiences, and available to watch for 24 hours. These videos feature experts like lactation consultants, doctors, and midwives and provide users with an immediate way to watch technique demonstrations and hands-on examples. Healthcare professionals also use the videos and content to view best practices to be shared with their patients.
To implement this feature, the LactApp team first built out an automated VOD workflow using MediaConvert, as well as AWS Lambda, a serverless, event-driven compute service, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. “On AWS, we have optimized the process of uploading videos so that we can get content to mothers faster,” says Tovar. “It also gave us a really good product and really good video quality, which would have been hard to achieve with other solutions.”
When LactApp uploads video content to Amazon S3, it is automatically transcoded to HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), an HTTP-based adaptive bitrate streaming communications protocol. This protocol is based on a job template that is contained within a Lambda function. After it is transcoded, the HLS content is pushed into another bucket on Amazon S3 and shared with users in the mobile app. In just 1 year, LactApp has processed nearly 500 videos, which are distributed to users on a monthly basis. In fact, its customers have watched over 2,000 hours of video content.
LactApp also used VOD on AWS Foundation to add subtitles to HLS video content. “Subtitles were also important because sometimes you’re breastfeeding in the middle of the night and you want to watch something without the sound,” says Tovar. “The AWS team supported us with the subtitles.” In particular, the MediaConvert team added updated Lambda scripts to the solution, which provided a way to add subtitles to the HLS VOD content. Then, the teams used the VOD on AWS Foundation implementation to build subtitles into the existing transcoding workflow. “In a couple of weeks, we had everything working,” says Tovar.
Since adding the video streaming functionality to the app, LactApp has been able to build out its new subscription model, which grew rapidly from 0 to 4,500 subscribers in less than 1 year. Its number of downloads has also grown to over 650,000—an increase of 22.6 percent. Users in 200 countries enjoy an enhanced app experience with more content, high-quality video, and important accessibility features. With the power of video, LactApp has effectively optimized breastfeeding education. “The solution works perfectly for us,” says Tovar. “We are very thankful for the help of the AWS team.”
Continuing to Deliver Breastfeeding Resources on the Cloud
LactApp has seen significant growth since adding video content to its app, expanding its number of subscribers and downloads. Now, the company is focusing on migrating its entire infrastructure away from online servers to cloud-based services. It also plans to implement new features, such as connecting users with lactation experts in their area.
LactApp will continue building on AWS so that it can continue to deliver important breastfeeding and motherhood resources to users around the globe. “LactApp is power in your pocket,” says Tovar. “The AWS team, and especially the video streaming solution options, gave us the ability to reach mothers in a more meaningful way than ever before.”
LactApp is a mobile app dedicated to providing resources on breastfeeding and motherhood. Founded in Spain, the technology-first company offers a repository of videos, articles, and other features to support parents around the world.
Benefits of AWS
- Added a library of 140 on-demand videos
- Grew number of subscribers from 0 to 4,500 in less than 1 year
- Increased number of downloads by 22.6%
- Scaled to reach users in 200 countries
- Processed nearly 500 videos in 1 year
- Supported over 2,000 watch hours
AWS Services Used
VOD on AWS Foundation
Video on Demand on AWS Foundation (VOD on AWS Foundation) is designed to help you start encoding video files with AWS Elemental MediaConvert.
AWS Elemental MediaConvert
AWS Elemental MediaConvert is a file-based video transcoding service with broadcast-grade features.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.
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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