When Sensiva Health had to retrofit its clinical testing facilities to produce fast, reliable COVID-19 tests, it didn’t hesitate. “We made the decision to come together as a company and dedicate all of our resources — labs, software, people, and procedures — to fight COVID head-on with our testing,” says Ben Williamson, chief operating officer at Sensiva. “We shelved everything else.”
Sensiva felt equipped to take on the task, having provided infectious-disease diagnostics for large health-care systems and long-term-care facilities for years. But when thousands of COVID test kits arrived daily for processing, Sensiva realized that one element of its chain was falling short: its cloud platform.
Sensiva turned to Cloudnexa to help it transition quickly to a more robust cloud platform while remaining compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) — with no downtime.
When scaling up is ‘the difference between life or death’
Sensiva had relied on a small, private cloud provider that lacked the flexibility and scalability to meet Sensiva’s demands, which were growing tremendously. In June 2020, Sensiva’s COVID-19 test was authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization under Sensiva’s wholly owned lab, Cormeum Laboratory Services. This led to thousands of COVID tests arriving in bulk daily, all requiring a 24-hour turnaround.
“At this speed, you have one chance to get things right,” Williamson says. “We couldn’t afford to have any downtime or lost data.”
But outages and other challenges with the provider’s system continued to mount, says Todd McCoy, director of technology at Sensiva.
By the time Sensiva’s provider announced an upgrade that would cause another multi-hour outage, it was clear a change was necessary. “In our world, one hour down equates to thousands of clinics, nursing homes and crucial workers unable to register tests,” Williamson says. “That’s thousands of individuals having to wait for results — and those results can be the difference between life or death. As soon as you get a positive result, you can get that person isolated. Every second is crucial.”
Cloudnexa migrates key Sensiva apps to AWS seamlessly
Sensiva Health chose Cloudnexa to help it move to Amazon Web Services (AWS). In addition to its ability to implement AWS services quickly, Cloudnexa has extensive experience in the health-care field and with HIPAA compliance, making it an ideal partner for Sensiva’s needs.
Cloudnexa quickly identified two apps that Sensiva Health could migrate to AWS to address its greatest demands. One was a patient-facing app that thousands of users logged into each day to access their test results. Cloudnexa also helped Sensiva Health determine which AWS services would be most beneficial to reduce manual work. “AWS has native solutions that could handle many of those tasks,” says Caitlin Kabo, Cloudnexa account representative. “We showed them which services they could use to do things more efficiently.”
Cloudnexa went the extra mile and completed the migration over a long weekend, with zero downtime. “The switchover was seamless,” McCoy says. “Cloudnexa, and their knowledge and ability to get us what we needed, were lifesaving and absolutely what we were looking for.”
Meeting today’s demands and preparing for tomorrow’s growth
In addition to helping Sensiva Health scale up to address the pandemic’s challenges, Cloudnexa allowed it to look ahead. Cloudnexa also supplies managed cloud services for Sensiva, automating maintenance and security patching and ensuring that the company remains HIPAA-compliant as its workloads evolve. “We didn’t need to add managing AWS on top of everything else we were doing in-house,” McCoy says. “Having Cloudnexa do that for us will help us accomplish what we need to as we grow.”
Managed support frees Sensiva staff to focus on software development and new services. It receives 24/7 proactive support, including the 300 checks Cloudnexa conducts multiple times per day to optimize costs, security and performance.
Having brought new, state-of-the-art labs and homegrown U.S. diagnostic manufacturing facilities online, Sensiva also wants to expand globally. AWS services can help it quickly deploy workloads into new areas while addressing their varying compliance requirements. The company is also considering migrating other parts of its business to AWS in the future. “Even though we had a complicated compliance workload, Cloudnexa made it easy for us to migrate to AWS without any glitches, downtime or lost data,” McCoy says. “And the use of managed services means we can concentrate on innovation and winning new contracts. But ultimately, this is about us being able to support demand during this global crisis.”
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