Case Study

How K Health makes healthcare accessible 24/7 by combining AI with live access to doctors

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K Health Logo
K Health
BigQuery, Google Workspace, Kubernetes
Israel, US

If you’ve ever diagnosed yourself via a search engine (and who hasn’t?), you know the results can be confusing at best, frightening at worst. In an online world where everything is personalized, navigating health content is usually a one-size-fits-all experience, and every symptom can overwhelm us with possible diagnoses. K Health combines the simplicity of a symptom checker with AI-powered recommendations and telemedical in-person advice to help people get better health advice, faster.

How it works: in the free K Health app, users first answer a 20 point questionnaire about themselves and their symptoms. Based on a 20-year database of more than 400 million clinical notes and charts, K Health’s machine learning algorithm compares the user profile with similar outcomes in the past, and lists likely diagnoses. For a small fee, either a one-off payment or part of an affordable monthly subscription, users can then get in touch with doctors through a HIPAA-compliant messaging feature and book remote or in-person appointments. With more than 4 million users in the US, K Health is already the country’s most downloaded medical app, and other countries are soon to follow.

The brief

Powering K Health’s machine learning solution is a container-based backend running on Google Kubernetes Engine. All the company’s data needs, including reporting, analytics, research, and model-building, are managed by Google BigQuery. “We wanted to be cloud-only from day one, and not manage any servers of our own,” explains Israel Roth, CTO, and Co-Founder of K Health. “Google Cloud offered the best start-up incentives and usability, which made it popular with our team from the start.”

As they were scaling up, the K Health team wanted to make sure they were using their Google Cloud solutions in the most efficient way possible. “These Google Cloud technologies are not just essential for delivering our services, they’re also a significant part of our cloud spend,” explains Israel. “To grow our infrastructure in a smart way, we wanted to leverage a closer partnership with a cloud specialist, and it was Google Cloud themselves who recommended DoiT International – and we’re glad that they did.” 

What we did

Securing access to sensitive information

Because K Health’s customers trust the company with sensitive health information, security is top of mind for Israel and his team. Right from the start, DoiT prioritized security by hosting architectural sessions to support K Health in the handling of sensitive client data on Kubernetes Engine and BigQuery. “On every step, DoiT was very mindful of our unique security challenges and demands. Besides sessions about general Google Cloud security features, we also received tailored support for some of our very specific challenges,” explains Israel.

Among these specific challenges is the need to take appropriate precautions when giving K Health’s own employees access to certain hyper-sensitive data. For example, when Israel and his team needed to provide some of the company’s internal AI researchers with access to sensitive information, they consulted with DoiT to create a secure environment within the Google AI ecosystem to safeguard this data. “DoiT helped us find a way to de-identify sensitive customer data and protect it against leaks, enabling our AI team to further improve our solution in a secure manner,” says Israel.


Reducing costs by making queries more efficient

To help K Health reduce costs, the DoiT team reviewed the company’s infrastructure and data practices, and discovered meaningful savings potential. In particular, they spotted inefficiencies in K Health’s daily and hourly queries on BigQuery, and provided easy-to-follow instructions on how Israel and his team could optimize them.

“Balancing our growth with our cloud resources is a constant struggle, and DoiT International provided many proposals and suggestions to help us optimize infrastructure and data costs,” explains Israel. “By making our queries with BigQuery more efficient with the guidelines of the DoiT team, we’ve seen a significant cost reduction. In January, K Health finalized a deal which will save the company hundreds of thousands of dollars over three years.”


Inspiring confidence with strong support

Whether it’s an in-depth security question, or a quick query fix, what Israel values the most about his work with DoiT is the reliability of support, which is always just a call or ticket away. “Having immediate access to someone with deep knowledge and expertise in our language and timezone is amazing, and DoiT’s response time is remarkable,” says Israel. “It’s always surprising how in-depth the answers are.”

DoiT’s in-depth support has helped K Health’s IT employees become more confident in the cloud. “Our engineering and security teams have really benefited from working with DoiT, and they’ve become much more comfortable with some of the technologies,” says Israel. “Because DoiT also helped us integrate Google Workspace on the enterprise level, and supported us with training sessions, we’ve also become more productive as a team, using tools like Gmail to communicate and Google Drive to store our documents.”

The result

Making healthcare more accessible to millions

Reinforcing its security practices and cutting costs with DoiT’s continued support enables K Health to keep innovating its healthcare solution. “Thanks in part to the close partnership with DoiT, we’re making a lot of progress in our overall architecture and development flows, allowing us to release new features, faster,” says Israel. Beyond covering more and more medical conditions, K Health also just launched a symptom checker specifically for children, providing immediate access to specialists and remote pediatric care.

Healthcare accessibility has long been a significant challenge worldwide, and COVID-19 has sharpened what happens when healthcare providers are strained and in-person visits difficult. To expand its vision of affordable, smart, and secure remote care as the world needs it most, Israel and his team want to leverage more Google Cloud technologies in the future, and they’ve got just the right partner to help them do that.

“The scope of what we’re trying to do is very ambitious, and we’re moving fast,” says Israel. “On this journey, DoiT opens up opportunities we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise, and then helps us actually realize these opportunities with the right technologies. It’s been a superb experience so far, and we’re excited to get even more out of our partnership in the future.”

Israel Roth, CTO, and Co-Founder, K Health
“The scope of what we’re trying to do is very ambitious, and we’re moving fast. On this journey, DoiT opens up opportunities we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise, and then helps us actually realize these opportunities with the right technologies. It’s been a superb experience so far, and we’re excited to get even more out of our partnership in the future.”

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