A 5-Minute Guide to the Serverless Healthcare Cloud

Learn what the serverless healthcare cloud means for your organization and how to ask the critical questions that will set you up for success in the future of serverless computing. 

As healthcare works to define what agility means, a few development architectures are emerging as critical to enabling progress. Serverless computing, and specifically the serverless cloud, stands out.

An excellent way to deliver cloud computing, it’s especially powerful when used with a microservices approach to application development. But while microservices architecture facilitates better development of healthcare apps, serverless architecture amplifies its advantages, easing the burden on developers writing code intended for a cloud platform. 

Serverless cloud computing provides improved utilization, freedom for the developer to focus on a specific function, enhanced security, and shorter time to production. 

Implications of the Serverless Cloud in Healthcare

The serverless cloud is more than just an advancement in app development. It’s positioned to address some of the most pressing challenges in the industry. 

Improving Scalability, Cost, and Speed of Delivery

As healthcare organizations extend applications across wider geographies and more complex relationships, scalability, cost savings, and speed will be more critical to success. 

Applications built on serverless infrastructure scale automatically with the growth of the user base and usage. Since there is no need to upload code to servers or perform backend configuration, developers can release and repair products easily, reducing costs and increasing speed. 

Supporting Modernization

It’s pretty common knowledge that healthcare lags other industries, but it’s catching up through initiatives like interoperability — a goal that serverless cloud architectures are perfectly positioned to enable. 

This architecture modernizes app development and speeds go to market. Take the example of an updated patient portal. In contrast to traditional architectures, when a serverless cloud is employed, the portal can be managed with multiple services and then scaled across instances while sharing a central database. The results are lower costs of building the portal, easier maintenance, and ongoing scalability in use. 

Enabling Transformation of Care

Care transformation is an umbrella term for initiatives that improve the health of populations, support the experience of both patients and providers, and do this in a cost-effective way. These goals have led to considerable disruption in the healthcare space — changes that will increasingly rely on new approaches to technologies like the serverless cloud to empower aspirations including:

  • New models of care delivery
  • Supporting patients as active participants in making care decisions
  • “Hospitals without walls” initiatives          

Is Serverless Right for Your Healthcare Goals?

While the serverless cloud has countless applications for an organization like yours, it’s important to identify the best use case. When working with clients, Vicert seeks to answer a few critical questions to ensure maximum benefits. 

Do you have unpredictable fluctuating workloads or frequent low usage?

Healthcare workloads fluctuate for many reasons, including shifting patient volumes, expanding into new and uncharted markets (think telehealth), potential future pandemics, or even something as simple as new projects where costs need to be controlled. If you’re working with this type of uncertainty, the serverless cloud could be a good fit.  

Are you processing large volumes of data distributed across disparate sources?

This situation is becoming increasingly common in healthcare, thanks to the rise of telehealth. 

For example, remote surgery requires sharing of hi-res images and video, often across long distances. Population health initiatives require organizations to process large volumes of data, both on the patient-facing side and in back-end processes. The serverless cloud has multiple applications in these types of scenarios, such as this cloud-based data warehouse that now serves as a single source of truth for collected observational data. 

Are you building modular solutions that incorporate external services? 

AI and machine learning (ML) are being touted as central to the modernization of healthcare. If you’re going down this path, the serverless cloud is likely something you should consider. This is especially true if you need to deploy digital applications that will need to be consumed by downstream systems such as EMRs, revenue cycle applications, and visualization tools.

Where Does Serverless Fit in a Digital Health Cloud Environment?

To better understand where serverless architecture fits in a healthcare development context, this example of AWS FHIR serverless architecture provides excellent insight.

To take your next step forward in the modernization of your development processes, we want to encourage you to review Vicert’s background in AWS tools and our approach to microservices or book a call with our team.




Author: Dev Team
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