Online education has been gaining popularity around the world after the pandemic. Interestingly, the acceleration of e-learning platforms coincides with the newly formed competency-based medical education in India which recommends online education. While this brings a host of benefits to the learning and teaching approaches, it also poses several new challenges for every stakeholder involved in the education sector.
E-learning in the medical domain is considerably different when compared to other online learning verticals. Medical students need to spend for 3 to 4 hours a day on these platforms even after hectic sessions in colleges or hospital duty. Most of this learning happens in hostels where the internet can often be unreliable. There are also numerous concepts to learn and memorize, and the concept videos are often long.
Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (‘Jaypee’) is a trusted education resource particularly for undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, as well as the medical fraternity in general. The organization works closely with healthcare professionals and information providers and remains a pioneer in aggregating and publishing medical content. Jaypee wanted to collaborate with a technology partner to launch their online learning platform for medical students. Knowledge being ever evolving, the solution had to be scalable and hosted on cloud, with a capability to provide an engaging learning environment. It also had to offer the same learning experience when not connected to the internet and also ensure the security of the content’s intellectual property.
Opportunity | Powering Smart Platforms for Interactive Learning
Jaypee worked with TriByte Technologies, a solution provider that offers interactive and personalized learning SaaS solutions to enterprises, higher education institutes, test preparation centers, and universities. TriByte developed a white-labelled Learning Management System (LMS) built on AWS. The solution was an online interactive LMS which offers similar experience with or without connectivity. It helped to make videos highly engaging by incorporating a ‘video index,’ which helps users to easily navigate the video. Students were provided with a ‘bookmarking’ as well as ‘notes’ facility, which could be used for a quick recap before exams.
To address erratic internet-related issues, Tribyte made all video content downloadable to the user’s device for offline viewing. To check students’ understanding of the lessons and to maintain attention over long duration video material, a ‘question on video’ feature was enabled. The solution also provided a highly interactive QBank feature specifically for exam preparation. It had the ability to bookmark questions, create custom quiz based on the specific concepts, and make video solutions available when students get an answer wrong.
The LMS platform offers a highly engaged learning experience, and with custom workflows and integrations with Jaypee’s e-commerce business portal, and insights in user behavior through detailed analytics.
“At Tribyte, we are confident in the power of Amazon Web Services to support our growth, as the services provided by AWS are engineered with reliability, security, and scalability at the forefront of their design,” says Seethaprasad Mandikel, CEO & Founder, Tribyte.”
Solution | Harnessing AWS & Intel Technologies to Deploy a Scalable Platform
The platform was built on LAMP architecture with inbuilt video transcoding and transrating features with video stored and delivered through Amazon Web Services (AWS) Content Delivery Network (CDN). Encrypted HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is used to make the delivery secure. As there is a growing need for scalability, it was essential for the solution to be cloud-ready. TriByte leveraged Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) instances powered by Intel for compute power and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for storage infrastructure. The solution uses Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for MySQL to store and organize data. It also helped with relational database management tasks, such as data migration, backup, recovery, and patching. Tribyte has been using Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling for its Application server to auto-scaled based on user load. Amazon S3 was used to store all original and transcoded videos. Amazon Cloudfront pulls the videos from S3 and streams the same to the end user and also caches the content simultaneously.
The company uses Amazon RDS with MySQL engine as database server. The server is configured in primary-secondary setup, where all read queries will go to secondary and write queries will go to primary. Lastly, for intuitive dashboarding, Tribyte leverages Amazon QuickSight to creates reports for sales and user engagement. Amazon QuickSight permission model is used to give selective access to various stakeholders, including all Jaypee end users. As the services evolve, Tribyte also leveraged microservices built on AWS Lambda to send SMS, e-mail, and other notifications, making the architecture more event-oriented. It transcode video using Amazon Elastic Transcoder on EC2 with Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)-based load management.
Outcome | Realizing Faster Computation, Zero Lag & Low Cost
In the LMS scenario, webserver needs are highly dynamic in nature. During assessments and live classes, concurrency will rise from between 20,000 to 50,000 users in a short span of time. Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling with round robin load balancing allowed TriByte to scale up and down based on load conditions. This also resulted in 30-40 percent reduction in cost. AWS Intel instances - both M5 family and C5 family - served the traffic efficiently and seamlessly. There was zero lag or issues when the demand peaked as Intel instances were highly cost-efficient. The solution also achieved the target of faster computation of video transcoding. AWS on Intel allows Tribyte to transcode videos using moderate configuration.
The solution utilized Intel’s M5 family for transcoding job (2000 to 3000 videos in a day) and the latency on the servers was zero to negligible. All videos were effectively transcoded to the format required in a very short duration.
Business has been growing on a continuous basis on both undergraduate and post-graduate medical courses. With AWS on Intel, TriByte was able to develop and deploy a cost-effective cloud-based solution which allows customers to scale based on the need and reach their business goals. DigiNerve, a new Tribyte B2C offering, was launched, allowing customers to go digital.