Philips HealthSuite Platform Speeds Healthcare Innovation on AWS
Healthcare technology company Philips wants to drive out inefficiencies in every aspect of the industry, from prevention to diagnosis, treatment, and home care. To achieve this, Philips is striving to help healthcare providers address the “Quadruple Aim”: improved patient experience, better health outcomes, improved staff experience, and lower cost of care. Dale Wiggins, vice president and general manager of the Philips HealthSuite Platform, says, “At HealthSuite Platform, our job is to enable the innovations and get them to market in an effective way so that all four of those dimensions can be met.”
However, healthcare providers face barriers in their attempts to address the “Quadruple Aim.” For example, regulatory issues and standardization—or lack thereof—can fuel the creation of siloed systems. “The greatest barrier to shared-resource efficiency seems to be inertia,” says Jan van Zoest, chief architect at Philips. “Hospitals and healthcare systems have traditionally had very disparate architectures with siloed data that they sometimes have trouble sharing internally, much less externally. This complicates everything from improving care to reducing costs to building new software solutions. It can even harm patients.”
Addressing these obstacles would require healthcare systems to embark on expensive, time-consuming projects involving a great deal of redundant heavy lifting. “Any software development or device integration in the healthcare space has to address healthcare-specific needs and regulatory requirements around things like logging, auditing, consent frameworks, and identity federation,” says Wiggins. “Then, if those solutions need to connect with solutions outside the organization, the situation gets even more complicated and introduces additional failure points that increase the risk of security breaches.”
AWS helps us differentiate the HealthSuite Platform by enabling us to provide exceptional data security and privacy off the shelf for our customers around the world."
Vice President and General Manager of Philips HealthSuite Platform, Philips
HealthSuite Enables a Connected Health Ecosystem
Philips has been working for years to help the healthcare industry overcome these challenges through the Philips HealthSuite Platform. It consolidates patient records, data from wearable or home-based remote medical-monitoring equipment, and information from insurance companies or healthcare organizations.
HealthSuite Platform—which offers digital services, capabilities, and tools built natively on Amazon Web Services (AWS)—began as a data-exchange network. Its primary function was to create links that consolidate records data from a healthcare provider’s partners and satellite offices with Philips devices designed to help monitor the health of patients at home. Built as a managed service on AWS, it will be able to take advantage of new AWS functions and features including machine learning–based application development and analytics that can not only be deployed in the cloud but also extended on-premises at the edge.
“Philips has been building clinical software applications for decades, so we understand how they need to work,” says Wiggins. “Using AWS, we've built that expertise into HealthSuite with timesaving custom services and templates to answer concerns specific to the healthcare space.”
HealthSuite Platform helps customers improve their efficiency and service quality with services including connections to clinical-grade smart devices, repositories for clinical and device-telemetry data, and a built-in framework to ingest, manage, and analyze healthcare data.
On AWS, customers pay for only the resources they need to connect any internal or external customers and partners. They can also build solutions for connected devices and deploy web, enterprise, or customer applications. And, because AWS offers a single programming model for cloud and edge devices that can take advantage of the same robust security services and features, customers can significantly shorten the development lifecycle, reducing costs. “The HealthSuite Platform provides the means for Philips and our partners to bring new healthcare solutions to market faster by helping them avoid the time-consuming work needed to be as secure and compliant as possible,” says Ad Dijkhoff, head of HealthSuite Platform business development at Philips.
AWS Infrastructure a Key to Security and Scale
Building HealthSuite Platform on AWS makes it easier for Philips to compete for healthcare business. “By running the HealthSuite Platform as a managed layer on top of AWS services, it's easier for us to offer a platform that checks all the boxes required in the healthcare space,” says Dijkhoff. “This includes the right infrastructure, compliance tools, and audit trails—everything our internal and external customers need to get off their plates so they can concentrate on improving patient outcomes.”
Even more important than the dynamic scalability and stability of AWS are the built-in governance capability and proven tools that customers can use to deal with privacy and security issues, rather than building everything themselves. AWS offers the most complete set of cloud services that make it easy to securely deploy and manage edge devices and supports more security standards and compliance certifications than any other provider. “With its many HIPAA-eligible services, strong security tools, and unlimited scalability, AWS helps us differentiate the HealthSuite Platform by enabling us to provide exceptional data security and privacy off the shelf for our customers around the world,” says Wiggins. “The most important thing we have to ensure for HealthSuite Platform customers is that we get data security and privacy right—and that we do so cost-effectively.”
The AWS infrastructure underpinning HealthSuite Platform includes dozens of AWS services, from the edge to the cloud, which are chosen for their ability to integrate effectively into packages that help Philips customers get products and services to market quickly. Five years ago, when Philips was focused on creating a reliable, real-time network connected to devices that caregivers used to monitor patients in their homes, it began relying on AWS IoT Core to easily and securely connect those devices to the cloud.
Now, the integration of data from more edge devices and advanced, often AI-powered analysis of that data have become more important. Philips uses Amazon Kinesis to collect, process, and analyze real-time streaming data, and it relies on Amazon API Gateway to create, monitor, and better secure APIs at any scale. “The two main reasons we chose AWS are the breadth of services and the ability to scale,” says Wiggins. “Scalability was vital given the huge volume of data you have with some use cases. We can provide new applications and analytic capabilities using the elasticity of cloud-based resources that we weren’t able to do before and that hospitals couldn’t afford.”
As time goes on, the ability to help customers get more value from the same data will become at least as important as the ability to scale. “One of our main focuses up to now has been moving data to the cloud,” says Wiggins. “Next, we’ll be looking at novel ways of putting that data to work to help customers improve, such as by adding machine learning and other AI integrations.”
To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/health.
Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and enabling better outcomes along a continuum from healthy living and prevention to diagnosis, treatment, and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology as well as deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions.
Benefits of AWS
- Offers virtually unlimited scalability
- Simplifies remote patient monitoring
- Connects and manages devices in the cloud
- Integrates, analyzes, and stores multiple sources of data
- Speeds time-to-market for healthcare solutions
- Ensures privacy and security compliance
- Minimizes complexity and reduces costs
AWS Services Used
AWS IoT Core
AWS IoT Core is a managed cloud service that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices. AWS IoT Core can support billions of devices and trillions of messages, and can process and route those messages to AWS endpoints and to other devices reliably and securely.
Amazon Kinesis makes it easy to collect, process, and analyze real-time, streaming data so you can get timely insights and react quickly to new information. Amazon Kinesis offers key capabilities to cost-effectively process streaming data at any scale, along with the flexibility to choose the tools that best suit the requirements of your application.
Amazon API Gateway
Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale. APIs act as the "front door" for applications to access data, business logic, or functionality from your backend services.
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