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Technology is quintessential in the evolving field of healthcare and life sciences to elevate patient care, automate operations and in medical research. It can be daunting to handle and enhance these technological systems. This is where the AWS Well Architected Framework with a Healthcare lens becomes extremely beneficial.

The AWS Well Architected Framework Review (WAFR) is a cloud infrastructure design and review methodology that helps you leverage the unique advantages of cloud and to secure, optimize and maintain your cloud environments. The WAFR defines six pillars: Operational Excellence, Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, Cost Optimization and Sustainability. Each of these six pillars consist of design principles which are the best practices of cloud infrastructure. The six pillars are the criteria for evaluating cloud-based infrastructures and identifying areas that require enhancement.

During the execution of the Well-Architected Framework Review for healthcare companies, the “Healthcare Lens” incorporates industry specific guidelines, design principles and best practices customized to address the distinctive requirements of the healthcare and life sciences sector. It focuses on – compliance with healthcare regulations, data security, optimizing efficacy in delivering patient care services and managing costs. It also nurtures innovation in medical research endeavors and treatment practices.

AWS Well-Architected Framework: Healthcare Lens

Operational Excellence:

  • Automate processes to reduce human error, ensure compliance, and maintain availability of critical healthcare services.
  • Key Points to review: Continuous improvement, operational monitoring, quick issue resolution.


  • Protect patient data with HIPAA, GDPR and other compliance frameworks, strong access controls, and encryption.
  • Key Points to review: Multi-factor authentication, regular security assessments, updated security protocols.


  •  Ensure system resilience and quick recovery to minimize patient care disruption.
  • Key Points to review:
    • Redundancy, automated recovery, regular disaster recovery drills
    • RPO (Recovery Point Objective): The maximum acceptable amount of data loss measured in time.
    • RTO (Recovery Time Objective): The maximum acceptable time to restore the system after a failure.

Performance Efficiency:

  • Optimize application performance for variable workloads, especially during peak times.
  • Key Points to review: Auto-scaling, right-sizing, performance metric reviews.

Cost Optimization:

  • Manage cloud costs effectively to avoid resource wastage while maintaining quality patient care.
  •  Nearly a third of cloud spend is wasted, highlighting the need for effective cost management (Flexera 2024 State of the Cloud Report).
  • Key Points to review: FinOps practices, cost allocation tags, regular resource review.


  • Support climate goals by reducing the carbon footprint of cloud operations.
  • Key Points to review: Optimize energy consumption, use energy-efficient instances, leverage renewable energy.


Impact of WAFR Healthcare Lens on various Healthcare Services 

Here are some key examples where applying Healthcare Lens can significantly enhance healthcare services:

  1. Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems:
  • Benefits: Enhances data integrity, availability, and security while ensuring compliance with healthcare regulations like HIPAA. Improves scalability and performance to handle large volumes of patient data.
  1. Telemedicine and Remote Patient Monitoring:
  • Benefits: Increases accessibility to healthcare services, particularly in remote areas, and enables continuous health monitoring. Supports timely medical interventions and better chronic disease management.
  1. Health Information Exchanges (HIE):
  • Benefits: Facilitates secure, real-time data sharing across different healthcare providers, enhancing interoperability and coordination of patient care. Reduces duplication of tests and procedures.
  1. Clinical and Research Data Lakes:
  • Benefits: Centralizes clinical and research data, supporting advanced analytics and machine learning. Ensures data privacy and compliance, accelerating medical research and improving data-driven decision-making.
  1. Genomic Data Processing and Analysis:
  • Benefits: Provides scalable compute resources for high-throughput sequencing, ensuring secure storage and compliance. Accelerates genetic research and personalized medicine initiatives.
  1. AIML in Healthcare:
  • Benefits: Generative AI and Machine Learning is being applied to many workflows in healthcare such as predicting health outcomes, improving patient access to care, revenue cycle operations and provider workflows. Healthcare lens oversees best practices to adhere to regulatory oversight, design control obligations, and interpretability requirements.

For detailed information on these and other scenarios, refer to the AWS documentation.


The Grave Consequences of Misconfigurations in Cloud Architectures

  1. Data Breaches: Misconfigurations in cloud storage and database settings has led to breaches of millions of patient records causing significant harm, particularly in the healthcare field. According to IBM Security ‘Cost of a Data Breach’ report in 2023 found that the average cost of a data breach in healthcare has surged to $11 million, a 53% increase from 2020. This figure surpasses the average of $4.45 million for data breaches across industries.
  2. Compliance Violations: Misconfigurations in deploying cloud architectures in the right regions can result in violation of regulations like HIPAA and GDPR. These violations can be levied very huge sums of money for fines and permanently damage an organization’s credibility and public image. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) resolved several cases of HIPAA violations leading to significant penalties in the year 2023. (
  3. Disruptions in Services: Downtime due to improper set up of cloud resources can affect patient care which is a crucial factor for the healthcare sector. A survey conducted by LogicMonitor revealed that 96% of participants encountered one cloud outage in the last three years with an average downtime period lasting around 7 hours.


Deliverables of the AWS Well Architected Framework Review

  1. Gap Analysis Report: Detailed report on issues in cloud infrastructure and deviations from AWS best practices and compliance requirements.
  2. Recommendations: Suggested actions based on their impact on the AWS six pillars, with prioritization in terms of level of risk.
  3. Roadmap to Fix Issues: Outlines actions needed to fix the gaps, including timelines and resource requirements while highlighting possible dependencies.
  4. Visibility on Risks: Provides clear visibility into risks associated with misconfigurations and non-compliance. This ensures one is fully aware of the consequences and is mindful of these risks.
  5. Continuous Improvement Plan: Establishes processes for continuous monitoring, review, and betterment of cloud architecture.

The Well Architected Framework Review helps healthcare and life sciences organizations identify gaps and offers a plan to address security, compliance and operational issues in their cloud setups. In an industry where the stakes are high, proactive measures to mitigate risks and optimize cloud architectures are essential for long-term success.

AWS recommends conducting Well-Architected Framework Reviews (WAFRs) regularly to ensure continued alignment of cloud architectures with best practices and business objectives. Reviews should be conducted at least annually or after significant changes to the architecture. Here’s where we come in – Techpartner Alliance is an AWS advanced partner and a certified AWS-Well Architected Review Partner. This is to say, we are fully equipped to conduct the Well Architected Framework Review, especially with the Healthcare lens for your technological infrastructure. We will partner with you on your journey to build cloud infrastructure in line with the design principles of the six pillars of the Well-Architected Framework. Follow our LinkedIn Page and check out our other Blogs to stay updated on the latest tech trends and AWS Cloud.

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