TL:DR – While the world was still reeling from COVID-19, AWS launched a new service that simplifies, accelerates, and revolutionizes healthcare data management and analysis. In today’s business world, data is the key to the three P’s – performance, productivity, and profitability. In healthcare, we’d add a fourth P – patient outcomes.  

In this article, we unlock the magic of Amazon HealthLake, giving you some insights on HealthLake’s data integration, and how you can leverage the platform to analyze data and improve patient care. 

What is AWS HealthLake? 

Amazon HealthLake is a fully-managed, HIPAA-eligible service that allows healthcare organizations to securely store, transform, and analyze large volumes of  health data in the cloud. It normalizes unstructured health data from various sources, such as electronic health records (EHRs), medical images, and genomics data, making it easier to extract valuable insights, visualize the data, and improve patient care.

AWS HealthLake takes machine learning algorithms to the next level and gives healthcare providers a leg up in using the data they have toward better outcomes. Because it is HIPAA-compliant, Amazon HealthLake provides strong data privacy and security measures, including end-to-end encryption, data access controls, and audit logs, to ensure that sensitive patient information is protected.

There is, however, one important caveat: data in Amazon HealthLake must be converted into Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), today’s modern standard for exchanging electronic healthcare information.

FHIR Data Conversion Challenges

Converting to FHIR is an essential step in achieving interoperability and unlocking the full potential of Amazon HealthLake. Some of the challenges in the conversion processes include:

  1. Complexity of healthcare data: Healthcare data is typically complex and heterogeneous, with different formats, structures, and standards used by different systems and applications.
  1. Data quality: Healthcare data can often contain errors, inconsistencies, and missing information, which can complicate the conversion process and affect the accuracy and completeness of the resulting FHIR data.
  1. Data mapping and transformation: Converting data to FHIR requires mapping and transforming data from the source format to the FHIR format, which can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially when dealing with non-standard or custom data formats.
  1. Resource modeling and mapping: FHIR uses a resource-oriented model, where healthcare information is represented as a collection of resources, each with its own unique URL. Mapping healthcare data to FHIR resources requires understanding of the FHIR resource model and how it relates to different types of healthcare data.
  1. Technical expertise and resources: Converting data to FHIR requires technical expertise in healthcare data standards, FHIR, and data integration, as well as access to the necessary tools, software, and resources to perform the conversion.

Is It Worth It? 

If Amazon HealthLake relies on such comprehensive data formatting, is it worth the effort to scale the FHIR wall to jump into the HealthLake?

In short, yes. Scaling the wall means scaling your business.

Machine learning algorithms are very powerful tools. They help identify patterns in patient data – demographics, medical conditions, and treatment outcomes –  to better understand customer behavior and preferences.

The power of this data is endless. And it is a differentiator between you and others in your competitive space.

Imagine your growth potential when you are able to demonstrate that patient data is protected and that it is transformed into real-time insight that improves patient care.

If you need more  justification that Amazon HealthLake is worth the investment, the core benefits are:

  • Secure storage
  • Large volumes of data visually comes to life
  • Analytics and insights are available in real time
  • Vastly improved patient care and better outcomes
  • Innovation thrives on the availability of accurate and timely data
  • It drives business growth

To accomplish all of this, you need the right partner to:

  1. Ensure that your data meets Amazon HealthLake’s integration requirements;
  2. Conduct a well-architected cloud review before implementation of any AWS service; and
  3. Verify that you are complying with industry requirements such as HIPAA.

What Ibexlabs Can Do for You: The WellBeam Use-Case

In the short time that Amazon HealthLake has been available, Ibexlabs has unlocked its potential and has partnered with healthcare providers to navigate their transition to this unique cloud service.

WellBeam Inc. is a healthcare technology platform that is transforming the transition of patient care. The platform offers a care coordination bridge between physician teams and third-party care providers, who continue patient care once patients leave the health system (Post-Acute).

Every day, care providers interface with physicians’ teams to obtain essential care authorizations and manage serious patient conditions.  The platform includes features such as mobile, on-the-go physician authorizations, secure messaging portal care teams across organizations.

The WellBeam platform is also integrated with EMRs on industry standard means for sharing patient treatment data and documents, saving hundreds of hours of manual medical record sharing.

Their product delivers improved clinical outcomes, which results in faster reimbursement, lower overheads and higher revenues.

But they needed better real-time analytics and patient care data that Amazon Healthlake could provide. And they needed a partner to convert their records into FHIR.

Enter Ibexlabs.

Our experience with electronic medical records (EMR) systems and our ability to build a transition layer to convert WellBeam’s data was ideal. We leveraged the AWS Jumpstart program to help WellBeam offset the cost of the solution.

What was our process?

Using an iterative and agile approach, we collaborated with WellBeam on requirements and followed this detailed step-by-step process:

  • Reviewed current cloud architecture to ensure full compliance.
  • Identified the data sources to determine which data needed conversion.
  • Transformed the data through a transition layer to convert custom data to FHIR schema.
  • Configured Amazon HealthLake so that the data populates smoothly.
  • Extracted the data from WellBeam’s sources.
  • Validated the data to ensure that the result met FHIR standards.
  • Loaded the data and scheduled conversion process so that new data automatically translates to FHIR.

WellBeam now has access to real-time data that not only improves patient outcomes but allows them to scale, demonstrate high level competencies, and grow their business.

If you are a healthcare provider, data can be the catalyst for your innovation, and Ibexlabs can help accelerate your growth.

In this video Pacal Odek, CTO of WellBeam tells us how FHIR and AWS HealthLake is driving innovation.