Amazon Web Services launches $40M initiative to narrow health equity gaps – Puget Sound Business Journal – Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) said it’s giving $40 million to organizations working to mitigate inequities in health care.
The commitment from Amazon Web Services, the tech giant’s cloud computing division, will come over three years in the form of AWS credits and technical expertise to organizations that can apply by Nov. 15.
The company said it will work in parallel with another program it launched during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic called the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative. Used by 87 organizations, it’s facilitated Covid-19 diagnostics research and development through cloud computing technology.
“Applying modern technology to health systems is not a silver bullet to ending health inequity, but it can speed health research and innovation, level the playing field for accessing care, help deliver trusted information to people when and where they need it, streamline supply chains, and more,” said Max Peterson, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide public sector at AWS, in a blog post.
The organizations invited to apply are expected to focus on increasing access to health services for underserved communities, addressing social determinants of health or leveraging data to promote inclusive care.
Throughout the pandemic, Seattle-based Amazon has leaned into its health care ventures. In late 2019 it quietly launched Amazon Care, a telehealth service for its employees to talk with doctors or other medical professionals within minutes. In April 2021, it launched the service for all Washington-based companies. Peterson said telehealth efforts will be used by organizations that provide health access for underserved communities.
Through AWS, it’s been building on the idea of a cloud-based health data storage service that can also provide analysis for health care organizations. In July it rolled out its HealthLake service, allowing customers to use it to automate their raw data data, analyze it and try to provide predictive and data-driven care, not unlike the idea behind its Diagnostic Development Initiative for detecting disease trajectory.
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