APAC health organizations rely on cloud to extend digital services
- APAC healthcare services have been increasingly relying on cloud-based services to extend digital service offerings amidst COVID-19 disruptions
- Health organizations in Australia & Indonesia among a growing crop of Asia-Pacific companies that are relying on cloud scalability to extend digital services to more
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are felt around the world, more and more organizations in Asia Pacific (APAC) have resorted to continuing operations with a remote workforce while seeing an unprecedented rise in demand for digital variations of their services.
While this has been true throughout the world, healthcare service providers around the Asia-Pacific region have been especially relying on cloud-based services to provide them with extra digital robustness in order to meet the spike in demand for their care services.
Public cloud service providers have been doing their part to support existing — along with any potential new — customers in sustaining their businesses during the pandemic. The likes of Google, IBM, and Huawei Cloud have been offering components of their cloud offerings for free or at cut-rate prices for small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and organizations to continue running aspects of their operations.
Cloud-based applications have been helping keep businesses afloat since the novel coronavirus pandemic began, offering digital solutions ranging from collaboration tools to virtual learning opportunities.
One example of this is Juniper, a leading elderly care services provider and retirement village operator in Perth and its surrounding areas in Western Australia. Juniper had to provide videoconferencing tools and hardware equipment for its employees to begin working from remote locations at the start of the outbreak.
Juniper’s IT manager, Dan Beeston, said the initial focus was to get financial records including accounts payable and accounts receivable to function adequately and be accessible to staff working from home, away from senior citizen residents in their care.
Like many operators in the healthcare sector, Juniper’s hardware equipment was becoming aged and was in desperate need of an upgrade. The investments it made in cloud services via Amazon Web Services (AWS) has now enabled Juniper to “scale with more agility and, more importantly, rapid deployment of services across [their] business”.
At NSW Health, the largest public healthcare system in Australia with 150,000 staff caring for two million patients, people who could no longer access face-to-face services began using its videoconferencing platform that was available throughout New South Wales. Usage of the platform went up no less than 18 times during the coronavirus pandemic, according to NSW Health chief information officer (CIO) Zoran Bolevich.
NSW Health has also relied on AWS to handle the spike in network traffic, as well as to scale up and create new call centers using Amazon Connect, an omnichannel cloud contact center service. “We have focused on ensuring that our networking is optimized and that we have ample storage capacity to deal with this surge in activity,” Bolevich said.
He added, “I am pleased to say that, by and large, all the investments and hard work that we’ve put into digitalizing NSW Health in the previous five to six years have really paid off.”
Health services in APAC are seeing the fruits of their cloud investments pay off during this pandemic, and the same could be seen in newer services in the region such as HaloDoc from Indonesia. HaloDoc was able to scale up its offering very quickly using auto-scaling features from AWS.
Auto-scaling uses machine learning to predict scaling patterns based on past results, which helps AWS determine how many instances a cloud application needs to run smoothly.
“Over the past three years, we’ve been growing quite rapidly, from serving hundreds of users to millions of users, so scalability is important for our business,” said Alfonsius Timboel, HaloDoc’s chief product and business officer. “Moving towards cloud computing and having a partner like AWS allows us to focus on what matters to our customers, rather than focus on maintaining infrastructure.”
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