Hawthorne Effect Gains Control Over Infrastructure Through AWS


Hawthorne Effect had limited control over its hosting infrastructure, which was subject to strict HIPAA compliance standards.


ClearScale helped Hawthorne Effect move its data away from a third-party platform to AWS and leverage powerful cloud services along the way.


Hawthorne Effect now has direct access to the hosting infrastructure that it needs to expand quickly into new markets.

AWS Services

Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon S3

Executive Summary

Hawthorne Effect is an accelerator of clinical research that sends healthcare professionals to patient homes to collect data. The company’s model creates a better experience for clinical trial participants, as they don’t have to go into the hospital. It also delivers clinical evidence faster than more traditional approaches. Furthermore, trial sponsors that use Hawthorne Effect have access to the organization’s Accelerated Clinical Trials (ACT) SaaS solution, which streamlines every stage of the clinical trial life cycle, from patient recruitment to data validation and delivery.

Prior to working with ClearScale, Hawthorne Effect used a third-party service to ensure HIPAA compliance for all patient data. The company’s leadership team decided it wanted more direct control over the hosting infrastructure and believed it could achieve this on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. ClearScale stepped in with valuable data migration guidance and experience, ensuring Hawthorne Effect’s transition was successful.

The Challenge

Data security is critical to Hawthorne Effect’s business. Everything the company does revolves around collecting, storing, and sharing sensitive patient data. Given the importance of proper data management and compliance, Hawthorne Effect initially used another platform that made adhering to HIPAA, GDPR, and other privacy regulations easier. However, this meant Hawthorne Effect gave up a certain amount of control over its hosting infrastructure.

After conducting some research, Hawthorne Effect determined it would be better to transition from the third-party platform to a self-controlled AWS environment. Of course, this migration had little room for error. In addition, Hawthorne Effect wanted to take the opportunity to leverage AWS services to elevate overall performance.

Hawthorne Effect knew it wanted a consultant to support the migration. The team reached out to AWS who, in turn, recommended ClearScale a cloud system integrator with the AWS Healthcare Competency. The two organizations decided to partner together and bring Hawthorne Effect’s vision to life.

"The folks at ClearScale were great to work with, and the project manager was fantastic at keeping us in tune with progress. Overall, ClearScale’s expertise gave us peace of mind about such an important change for our business."
John Taylor
CTO, Hawthorne Effect

The ClearScale Solution

First, ClearScale learned about Hawthorne Effect’s application, the underlying framework, and migration goals. The client shared exactly what it wanted in its new cloud environment, as well as how ClearScale could help position the business for future growth. ClearScale took this information and created a project timeline and robust transition plan.

The migration to AWS itself went smoothly, and ClearScale leveraged a number of AWS services for the project including Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon S3, and more. The team made sure all details were covered and that Hawthorne Effect was always aware about what was happening. Once on AWS, ClearScale pointed out how Hawthorne Effect could leverage different AWS solutions to further boost performance, security, and availability.

The Benefits

After moving to AWS, Hawthorne Effect has more control and visibility into its data operations. The company can now easily spin up new environments anywhere in the world, creating the potential for the business to replicate its model quickly in untapped markets. Hawthorne Effect’s disaster recovery process is also much easier. Now that the business is on AWS, it can move to other U.S. regions more efficiently if things go awry.

ClearScale was instrumental in the success of the engagement. The team gave Hawthorne Effect confidence that no data would be compromised or lost during the transition. The company can continue to meet patients in their homes and has the infrastructure to scale rapidly. Looking ahead, should Hawthorne Effect expand to new markets, the new AWS environment will be entirely capable of enabling such change.