The adoption of cloud technology in healthcare is on the rise. Frost & Sullivan’s Global Cloud User Survey, Q4 2021 points to 43% healthcare respondents agreeing that a cloud strategy was essential to remaining competitive, while 41% strongly agreed with the statement that the cloud is the most important part of a digital transformation strategy; 75% agreed that cloud was crucial or extremely important for achieving healthcare business goals. Clearly, cloud is an important technology for healthcare’s future. But how is the technology helping achieve public health goals, especially in a country like India that is now emerging to be an eager adopter of healthcare technologies?

Frost & Sullivan’s Healthcare & Life Sciences practice had the opportunity to attend the AWS Public Sector Summit, New Delhi, India, #AWS2022 in early September. Amongst the myriad of sessions covering various aspects of the cloud giant’s services for various public sector areas such as education, agriculture, smart cities, and citizen programs, these are the insights we gained from the healthcare space – and we might add, we were impressed!

The AWS Public Sector team has these core objectives, for any public sector-oriented project:

  • Make a positive impact on all Indian citizens
  • Re-skilling, skilling on the cloud (help the move to the cloud)
  • Data security

These are quite evident from some of the most recent projects in healthcare that not just India, but the world has seen:

CoWIN: A govt. of India operated COVID19 vaccination registration portal for 1.3 billion citizens

The platform was built using Amazon Web Services (AWS) solutions by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Trigyn Technologies Limited for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in a record time of just 12-14 weeks. The platform not only managed 1.9 million vaccinations on day 1 but also easily managed 25 million vaccines delivered in a single day, on 17th September 2021 (Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s birthday). In its early days, the solution scaled in just 1 minute from supporting 6,000 requests per second, to 46,000 requests per second. The platform has effectively managed the vaccination records of over 2 billion COVID19 vaccine doses delivered in India, in just 1.5 years. The solution is now being offered to other countries to leverage their public health initiatives.

eSanjeevani: National, free telemedicine service

Designed and developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in a record 19 days using AWS, the free telemedicine service at its peak was serving 300 K consults in a single day. The service has two variants – a doctor-to-doctor variant for a community health centre healthcare worker to connect with a hub/tertiary facility specialist, and an outpatient department (OPD) variant for patients to connect with a doctor from anywhere across the country. With over 60 million patients served, 200,000+ doctors onboarded across 100,000+ spokes and ~12,000 hubs, the service is making a significant impact on healthcare access in the country.

The AWS platform continues to be used by several other players, often in partnership with other players such as Intel and AMD. Intel and AWS are supporting Minfy, which is helping local healthcare players improve their operations and efficiency. For example, Minfy is supporting the Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Relief Foundation Trust’s charitable dialysis center in Hyderabad, Telangana (which offers dialysis for $4/session) to digitize their patient workflow, patient onboarding, and predictive analytics for recommending lifestyle interventions for patients.

In line with AWS’ pledge to upskill local talent base for cloud usage, it has set an ambitious goal of training 29 million people by 2025 and has already trained over 13 million individuals in less than 2 years, the pandemic notwithstanding. Another ambitious goal that Amazon has also set for itself, is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris agreement, and is on track to powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.

It is clear from the statistics mentioned here, that when a solution is built for India, it offers an unparalleled scale, and possibly unparalleled use cases, that can result in almost ready solutions for several other countries. Apart from the above healthcare focused examples, the one other solution that deserves a special mention is that of DigiLocker – which houses 6 billion documents of over 125 million citizens. AWS’s solutions thus, are “Built in India, but for the World.” AWS India is indeed supporting several public sector healthcare use cases with aplomb.

The public sector’s healthcare efforts are likely to benefit significantly from adopting cloud-based initiatives, as demonstrated by the India story. There are benefits for the private healthcare sector too. Globally, private health systems are mooting the move to the cloud, if not already done, while some contend that some level of on-site infrastructure will still be required. This ongoing journey of transitioning from ‘cloud-must’ to ‘cloud-first’ is a trend we will continue to monitor.

Frost & Sullivan follows the healthcare cloud solutions market very closely, focusing on global user surveys, SaaS, IaaS and PaaS services, and adoption, deployment, and usage of cloud services for healthcare. To know more, or to speak to our analyst, please click here.

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