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Breaking Down Barriers: Leveraging Technology to Transform Healthcare Delivery — Roundup of a NearForm and AWS Co-hosted Event

It was an event that shared expert insights and actionable advice

June 22nd, 2023 was a proud day for NearForm. Why? Because it was the date of our first co-hosted event with AWS.

Titled ‘Breaking Down Barriers: Leveraging Technology to Transform Healthcare Delivery’ and held in Dublin, the event featured four excellent talks for healthcare leaders from our expert speakers. Incredible stories were shared and actionable advice was given on how healthcare companies can leverage technology to transform their organisations.

The event was another great step forward in the relationship between NearForm and AWS — our recent highlights include:

This roundup provides a summary of each of the talks from our co-event with AWS and some key quotes. If you want to learn more about what the speakers discussed, we’ve included the full video at the end of the article.

Talk 1: The Cardo Health Story

This talk was delivered by Kurt Milam, Delivery Architect at NearForm. Kurt told the story of how NearForm worked with Cardo Health to help our partner democratise healthcare by enabling people in emerging markets to get access to the healthcare they deserve.

Kurt discussed how NearForm built a telemedicine platform configurable enough to roll out to any market in the world — not just language, but things like questions a doctor may ask during a consultation. He explained how we solved the challenge of delivering this incredibly ambitious project in under 12 months by leveraging open source tools. Kurt also highlighted how NearForm built capability for Cardo Health by helping our partner to hire and train its team.

In Kurt’s words, this was “A true engagement, from ideation through implementation and really leaving Cardo Health self-sufficient to continue after NearForm walked out the door.”

““Borrow, don't build. The idea here is you can lean on partners like AWS to leverage their economies of scale. So, rather than building things from scratch and making sure that your foundational pieces are compliant, it's great if you pick someone like AWS who has the resources to do that work for you.” Kurt Milam, Delivery Architect at NearForm.”

Read our Cardo Health case study to learn more about how we helped our partner.

Talk 2: Digital Commons for a Digital Decade

The speaker for this talk was Tony Shannon, the Head of Digital Services at the Office of Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO). Tony asserted that “This is not a decade to mess around. This is a decade for important work to be done. And it's the job of the state.”

Tony expressed his view that “People and process, the way we work and technology” need to come together “In a triad of change”. One of the ways this is being put into practice is a “Government branded wallet”. As Tony explained, “You log in with MyGovID and you then end up with a situation whereby you can get not just your route certificate or your driving license, but maybe your medical card or your e-hit card or your public services card.”

Another example of this “triad of change” is a project NearForm’s experts are helping Tony and the OGCIO to deliver for the people of Ireland. Tony outlined the project goal as being “Aimed at trying to address the wicked problem of multiple paper forms that are the bane of many people's lives, for both the citizen and the public servant.” How does this look? A form that previously took 28 minutes to finish now becomes “A two-minute job to complete”, saving people huge amounts of time.

““I think if we particularly want to look for a way forward, the way to do that is co-creation between the user and the public servant and people like AWS and NearForm, in an open source and collaborative way. What we can do is we can co-create a digital future that actually makes people's lives better, easier and has an impact on their lives in a real and meaningful way.” Tony Shannon, Head of Digital Services at the OGCIO.”

Read our Government Services case study to learn more about how we help public sector organisations.

Talk 3: The Renalytix Story

In his second talk of the day, Kurt Milam told the story of how NearForm worked with Renalytix to help the company in its goal of eradicating kidney disease.

Renalytix had developed a test that can predict the direction a person’s kidney disease would take if they didn’t make changes to their lifestyle or get medical help. Renalytix had an existing solution that was designed to make this test accessible to users. However, Kurt explained that the solution needed a deployment plan to take it online. Additionally, Renalytix wanted to develop a portal that would onboard doctors as quickly as possible, so more people could take the test.

Kurt shared how NearForm helped solve these challenges for Renalytix. We deployed the solution rapidly and that led to quality-of-life improvements for patients within a couple of months. We built the doctors' portal and received feedback that it’s very user-friendly. We also helped Renalytix to become self-sufficient by supporting our partner in building its development team and creating the processes needed to continue developing its solution.

““My advice to you: One is to choose the right partners — it's about the people. One is to be agile, and it is possible to be agile in the healthcare sector, even though a lot of folks don't believe that yet. And the other one is, do borrow, don't build where you're able to do that.” Kurt Milam, Delivery Architect at NearForm.”

Read our Renalytix case study to learn more about how we helped our partner.

Talk 4: Making Data Work — the Easy Way

Regina Hackenberg, Senior Solutions Architect at AWS, gave the final talk of the day. Regina spoke about “How cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics merge at the moment to help us transform healthcare.”

Regina talked about two of the purpose-built solutions AWS has developed to help overcome one of the key challenges faced in the healthcare industry — leveraging data.

The first solution she discussed was Amazon HealthLake. It allows organisations to store data at scale, easily extract meaning from it and then apply analytics and machine learning to it. The second solution she shared was Amazon Comprehend Medical. It’s an API that enables organisations to get value from unstructured clinical notes, returning information that can reveal things like what the likely causes are for a patient’s disease(s).

““I had the pleasure to talk across Europe to some of the brightest minds in healthcare. And they always ask me: ‘What do you think are the megatrends?’ ‘What are the challenges?’ And they're similar. They're all around data at this point in time.” Regina Hackenberg, Senior Solutions Architect at AWS.”

Learn more about how NearForm and AWS help healthcare organisations

We were delighted to run this amazing event together with AWS. A big thank you to all of the incredible speakers for their insightful and actionable talks, along with everyone who attended this event and helped make it such a great success.

We hope to run more of these events in the future and will let you know about them when the time is right. For now, if you want to know more about how NearForm and AWS help healthcare organisations, watch the full video of the event. And if you want to work with NearForm and AWS, visit our AWS and NearForm page to learn how we can help your organisation.

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