Leveraging the AWS cloud to accelerate the digital transformation of life sciences

Published: January 6, 2019

Growth and development of the public cloud has been an emerging trend for over a decade now, led by AWS as the innovative first mover. The aggressive move from pure retailer to advanced technology provider resulted in a dominant leadership position for AWS in today's $132B public cloud market (IDC). As a conservative and heavily regulated industry, life sciences has been late to adopt the public cloud relative to other industries, but is now accelerating cloud adoption as part of major digital transformation efforts across the industry.

Key areas of transformation include improving the productivity and ROI of early stage research, modernizing decades old approaches to clinical studies, and embracing a future that includes much deeper patient engagement and involvement in actual care delivery. In all three scenarios, AWS is frequently chosen as the innovation platform to build upon, and Virtusa digital engineers are enlisted to make the vision into reality.

In early stage research, the use of large volumes of real patient data is highly valuable to drug manufacturers, but has been hindered by concerns about security, privacy, and ethical issues. Virtusa is working with scientists from the Indiana Bioscience Research Institute to transform real world data into digital synthetic 'twins', and then build predictive models against the synthetic patient data to garner insights. Using pre-built services developed by Virtusa in its AWS based vLife® platform, the collaboration is accelerating the entire process from the first data ingestion to machine learning model development.

Modern clinical trial designs increasingly require sponsors to enable patients to participate in their studies with minimal intrusion and disruption into their daily lives, including capturing new sources of insight through wearable technologies, continuous monitoring through connected medical devices, and engaging through social media, just like other interactions and encounters between consumers and organizations. Virtusa has been working with leading life science manufacturers such as Smith & Nephew to offer a streamlined, wearable-device to cloud and analytics platform using AWS services.

As products move from research and development into market approval and use, drug and device manufacturers are no longer selling products at arms length through distribution channels, pharmacies, and group purchasing organizations, but instead are expected to be active participants in care delivery, including a direct relationship with patients in many emerging therapeutic treatments. Once again, Virtusa and AWS are working together to support Ultragenyz and a top 10 pharmaceutical manufacturer as they develop platforms dedicated to connecting and engaging with patients.

Across the spectrum of the life science industry's transformation, the AWS cloud is the clear platform of choice, with Virtusa delivering the digital engineering talent and resources to build and extract the unique value and competitive differentiation every life science company is expecting cloud to deliver.

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