eHealth NSW develops cloud infrastructure to scale apps deployment
eHealth NSW, the digital organisation of NSW Health, is now developing and deploying clinical applications through its cloud architecture developed in partnership with hyperscale providers Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
Through this partnership, it was able to deploy cloud-optimised and fully automated Enterprise Patient Repository and Electronic Oral Health Record on AWS and directory management software Quest Active Tools on Azure.
WHY IT MATTERS
Automation was a “major objective” for eHealth NSW to enable rapid infrastructure scaling in response to COVID-19. It raised its speed of deployment “from a six-week average [period] down to one day.”
“We leveraged infrastructure as code so we could automate the deployment and management of 90% of our apps in scope,” explained Cloud Refresh programme manager Daniel Hansen.
For about half of their apps, autoscale was also implemented to ease management overhead, scrapping the need for an operator to continuously monitor a system’s performance and decide on adding or removing resources.
“Vendor software was also used for automation. We leveraged relational database services and micro-segmentation using Azure Network Security Groups and cloud-native load balancers across all the apps,” Hansen added.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
The development of eHealth NSW’s cloud architecture is part of its ongoing Critical Infrastructure Refresh Program which aims to modernise legacy systems to support essential healthcare services and take advantage of new cloud capabilities, such as AI, machine learning, and data analytics.
As part of this programme, the organisation built and launched last year a self-managed cloud solution, which has underpinned NSW Health’s virtual response to the pandemic by facilitating virtual care and remote work.
The Cloud Refresh programme, which started in 2019, will run until June 2025.
ON THE RECORD
“This wasn’t a cloud migration lift and shift,” said Farhoud Salimi, executive director of eHealth NSW Service Delivery, about their cloud infrastructure development.
“It was a transformation where we developed new intellectual property for these apps to work on the cloud. We not only transformed the apps but changed our way of working. We worked closely with our app vendors and cloud partners to co-design and rebuild our critical clinical apps after we upskilled and restructured our people into cross-functional DevOps teams.”
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