The Healthways Well-Being Improvement Solution is designed to advance care for the chronically ill, reduce health-related risks and keep healthy people healthy.
A key facet is a Web-based survey that measures a person's overall financial, social and physical status. Data from this survey informs the Well-Being product's predictive models and identifies ways to improve employee performance and reduce healthcare costs. Because the survey is usually administered during a company's annual health benefits enrollment period, load times can reach 100 times the average intensity for short durations.
Healthways has deployed hundreds of servers in its data center. However, to cut costs and adjust scale as needed, it needed a more flexible cloud-based alternative that also met rigid healthcare security regulations. Healthways worked with Microsoft to use Windows Azure as the platform for a public cloud/on-premises hybrid setup. In short, Healthways moved some of the survey code into a Windows Azure cloud, and now 21% of well-being assessments are completed using Azure, with the ability to better scale capacity as needed. By moving Web survey code and administration to Azure cloud technology, the average cost of delivering the survey dropped by 67% per survey.