The AWS Cloud Enables More Efficient and Cost-Effective Health Systems Through the Exchange of Health Information

AWS’ cloud environment enabled South Africa’s new CareConnect Health Information Exchange (HIE) to be up and running in just two years, giving healthcare professionals access to critical patient information in six of leading hospital groups and medical plan administrators in the country. With the power of cloud technology, healthcare professionals are now helped to deliver efficient, quality healthcare where and when it’s needed.

The HIE facilitates access to information relating to the health status of patients, including the results of blood tests and X-ray examinations. By connecting multiple systems, it eliminates the need for unnecessary duplicate pathology and radiology departments, saving time, increasing efficiency and improving patient outcomes.

CareConnect is a not-for-profit organization founded by six of South Africa’s largest medical aid administrators and hospital groups, including Discovery, Medscheme, Life Healthcare, Momentum Health, Mediclinic and Netcare. These strongholds of South African health have come together to bring about the exchange of health information, with the intention of covering the entire South African health sector.

CareConnect went live in August 2021 and opened in the first quarter of 2022 with over three million lives secured in the HIE in its first phase, marking a milestone for healthcare in South Africa. The true value of the CareConnect HIE will be realized when it is integrated into the public and private healthcare sectors and becomes an asset to the entire South African healthcare system.

The use of cloud technology accentuated the power of this collaboration, with AWS cloud technology forming the foundation of its success. As an entirely new organization, it was not bogged down by the need to migrate on-premises equipment, allowing it to start as a cloud-native organization. Dr. Rolan Christian, CEO of CareConnect, says, “At the start, we were looking for the best way to leverage these technological innovations to leapfrog and get to the point where we could go live with our six founding members fairly quickly. In two years, we developed our infrastructure in AWS. We developed the necessary skills, but also put in place the tools to create the HIE, which I find phenomenal.

Christian says the best part of AWS was the fact that the cloud service provider had three regions in South Africa. “What we found even better was when we were invited by AWS to test the region before launch. For a small company of about 20 employees, it was very heartwarming to see a partner say, “Come and test the region before launch, see what it looks like and use the capacity”.

He says CareConnect aspires to be part of the cloud ecosystem, giving the organization the ability to test what’s available, be part of what’s coming, and deliver that value.

Christian notes that the South African healthcare industry has been very fragmented, which increases costs, creates more complexity for members and patients, and does not provide the experience for providers and patients to provide the care needed to solve some of the biggest health challenges in the world. country. “Our vision is to reduce this fragmentation and find better ways for physicians to deliver care and help patients proactively manage their well-being through the use of these data platforms,” says Christian .

“To deliver patient-centric care, organizations in the highly regulated healthcare industry must accelerate the pace of innovation and unlock the potential of data, while ensuring the security and privacy of health information. AWS enables healthcare organizations to improve patient outcomes and accelerate the digitization and use of their data with the broadest and most comprehensive portfolio of cloud services and purpose-built partner solutions,” said Jean Pierre Horne, Health Account Manager at AWS.

For the past 15 years, AWS has collaborated with healthcare professionals and industry experts alongside healthcare organizations to design and deploy solutions with a unified goal: to improve patient outcomes. Horne says CareConnect is the perfect example of how this collaboration can benefit the public.

At a Cloud Series Executive Forum to be hosted by AWS in conjunction with ITWeb on July 7, experts will explore the ways the South African healthcare industry is using the AWS Cloud and other technologies to improve service delivery . To register for this event, Click here.

For more information about AWS for Health, visit learn more about CareConnect here.

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