Cloud Helps Canadian Customers During Covid-19 Pandemic

Cloud Helps Canadian Customers During Covid-19 Pandemic

From coast to coast, we are hearing from customers just how important the cloud has been to them as they try to get staff online, develop new applications quickly, or scale to meet the burgeoning demand. We’ve been collecting some stories from across the country and will continue to share more highlights from our customers.

Government:

The Canadian Digital Service (CDS), an in-house digital delivery unit in the Government of Canada, works to improve the delivery of government services to Canadians and during the COVID-19 pandemic, has needed to quickly scale its Notify system. That system allows government departments to send important notifications directly to Canadians. The system was operating at a level that was optimized to reach hundreds of thousands Canadians but now, with the help of the AWS Canada team, that system can send 10 million messages per day, with the potential for more.

Canada’s OTN is one of the world’s largest virtual care networks, and provider of many different telehealth programs for patients in locations throughout Ontario. During the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for its video service has spiked by four thousand percent. OTN has been able to scale on AWS to meet the demand by rapidly adding Amazon EC2 instances.

As it becomes increasingly important to provide Canadians with up-to-the minute information on COVID-19, several governments are relying on the AWS Cloud to power its websites, including Canada.ca, Ontario.ca, and Quebec.ca.

Education:
Athabasca University (AU) is Canada’s online research university where most of the staff already work remotely. As the realities of Work From Home hit with COVID-19, AU had to act quickly to get about 180 staff across Alberta who only had office desktops a way to connect from home. IT staff wiped laptops that weren’t being used, installed a new operating system, and loaded them with Amazaon WorkSpaces.  Within a few days, all these staff could now work remotely for the first time.

Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning (Humber), Canada's largest college, jumped into action quickly to get students online—and with access to the applications they need—during COVID-19. With the help of AWS Premier Partner Onica, a Rackspace Company, Humber is making it possible for students to access software that is typically only found on campus in computer labs available on any device from anywhere in the world.  Within a few days, Onica and Humber were able to design, build, and test a production solution on AWS. Using Amazon AppStream, as many as 450 applications will be rolled out so that students may continue their studies remotely, with the most critical titles taking just days to set up.

Healthcare Technology:
We are supporting Aetonix, which provides Remote Patient Monitoring and supports RPM devices (oxygen monitoring, ear temperature, blood pressure, weight, glucose level, steps count, and falls detection). Four weeks ago, when COVID-19 started to become prominent, Aetonix was approached by its clients (Hospitals, clinics) to help. The staff is now 100% focused on developing products for COVID-19, on-boarding clients or communicating the urgency. Aetonix has made this extremely simple to on-board patients and staff, and the first two  months is free in an effort to flatten the curve. You can visit their COVID-19 Canada page for more information.

Babylon by TELUS Health is helping hundreds of thousands of Canadians access local family doctors on their smartphones. Based on more than 500 million streams of real health data, they can use the app’s AI-powered Symptom Checker to get information about their health concerns and also chat in real-time via virtual video with a locally-licensed physician. Patients can access doctor consultation notes and video recordings for quick reference and/or sharing with their own family physician, while easily managing prescription details and preferred pharmacy locations for pick-ups. Online appointment bookings, referrals for diagnostic tests or specialist appointments are also available all through the app. Available in BC, AB and ON, the service runs on the AWS Cloud leveraging the AWS Canada (Central) Region to keep all patient data in Canada.

Montreal-based Dialogue is Canadian leader in virtual healthcare who were an early AWS adopter. With COVID-19, the volume of people in need of medical assistance is growing every day while healthcare phone lines are jammed or down. In order to help with the increased load, Dialogue quickly put together a simple information chatbot (Chloe) that they’re now extending with Q&A capabilities – all running in the AWS Cloud.

Empego, offers a seamless triage experience to modernize and optimize the way healthcare is delivered. As a startup in the healthcare sector, AWS has helped Empego quickly scale its infrastructure needs while keeping costs low. At the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Empego developed and delivered a free online triage tool to healthcare professionals and the Quebec population. The tool was used more than 300,000 times and greatly contributed in relieving the government hotlines, detecting tens of thousands of high risk cases, and assisting doctors, nurses and pharmacists during consultations with patients.

Calgary-based ICE Health Systems built its electronic health records (EHR) service on AWS and has involved it to include a telehealth component. COVID-19 has spiked demand for the service globally, including in Canada but also in the U.S. and across the world in India. ICE runs all-in on AWS and has seen growing hours of secure video sessions in March on all devices and connections.

Regina-based startup Lumeca is helping get Saskatchewan residents connected to doctors via an app. Twenty physicians are now virtual doctors talking to patients across the province to help ease the burden on traditional healthcare delivery services. Lumeca runs on AWS in the AWS Canada (Central) Region, and has already seen thousands of video users sign up in March.

Medimap is Canada’s largest online and mobile real-time resource for same-day access to care and the back-end platform is by AWS. To support physicians during the COVID-19 outbreak and to ensure safe healthcare access for patients, Medimap has launched a new service that connects patients across B.C. with an available walk-in clinic doctor over secure video call. This service is free for B.C. patients with valid MSP coverage. With secure messaging, audio, and video available through the Medimap platform, doctors can provide a variety of services including COVID-19 advice and prescription refills.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, mimik is deploying a contagion positioning app to alert people who may have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. They deliver these capabilities by leveraging edge computing on mobile devices to send exposure alerts to all devices that have been in their proximity & directs them to available resources for testing, preventive and curative care. The mimik platform utilizes several key services such as Amazon Kinesis Firehouse and
Amazon DynamoDB‎.

Vancouver-based Theorem Synthetic Intelligence, a private enterprise software and IP company, is answering a call by governments worldwide to make SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 research more readily available. As a public service, Theorem’s proprietary encoding algorithms and AI engines can now be applied against the entire PubMedarXivmedRxivWikipedia, and bioRxiv datasets. Global researchers can now search and rank using high-dimensional, language-agnostic exemplars and receive results within milliseconds. New corpora are being added, increasing the quality and relevance of insights available within and between datasets. Some of the High-Performance Computing (HPC) is running on AWS today. The resource is available at https://syint.io. Researchers seeking access and owners of research datasets requiring transcoding for inclusion are encouraged to contact Theorem directly at syint@thrm.io.

Thrive.Health, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health, HealthLinkBC, and the BC Centre for Disease Control, developed an app to provide BC residents with resources and information on COVID-19. The app was entirely built on AWS in March and has seen over 140,000 users since its launch last week. It's currently the #1 health app in Canada on the Apple App Store and Google Play store. Thrive.Health also built and launched a Canada-wide app in partnership with the Government of Canada on April 1st, which is now live at https://ca.thrive.health”. People across the country can access the app on any device and track their symptoms daily as a way to help inform the public health response to COVID-19. The app provides the latest updates from the government and public health, important stats, and personalized resources to support people through this pandemic.

Enterprises:

Pacific Blue Cross, British Columbia's #1 provider of health, dental and travel benefits, was on top of getting staff online during the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses across the province were asked to get employees to work from home. In just a few days, the IT teams used Amazon WorkSpaces to get hundreds of team members online quickly in critical groups such as the call centre and claims. Going from zero to nearly 600 WorkSpace seats was made easier as Pacific Blue Cross already had underlying infrastructure in the AWS Canada (Central) Region, and was able to leverage domain control and security policies in place on their tenant.

TC Energy was well poised to handle a remote worker situation in response to COVID-19. The Calgary-based energy company has nearly completed a comprehensive migration from its own data centers across North America over to AWS, which enabled it to pivot quickly and get staff online from home. It’s using over 500 Amazon WorkSpaces seats today to keep everyone connected, and ensure that millions of people across North America are be able to continue to receive the energy they rely on every day.

Gaming:

Canadian Video Game Developer Mobovivo and its parent company, mobile game publisher, ePlay Digital is behind Howie Mandel’s Howie’s Games. Running on AWS, the games are driving attention towards Mandel’s charity that is providing masks, gloves, hazmat suits, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hospitals, care homes, and front line workers in North America and Europe through the Breakout the Masks initiative. You can check out the game here: www.howiesgames.com.