AWS announced today that it is launching an initiative to accelerate diagnostics, research and testing in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.
Customers who are working to bring faster, more accurate diagnostic solutions onto the market will receive $20 million in technical support and AWS credits over the next 12 month.
AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative will support both accredited research institutions as well as private entities using AWS to perform research-related tasks in pursuit of improved COVID-19 testing.
DDI aims to accelerate the often slow process for vaccine and treatment research funded by government agencies. It hopes to speed up rapid and precise patient testing of the 2019 novel coronavirus and develop other diagnostic solutions to prevent future outbreaks.
The scheme is supported by the counsel of a technical advisory team that includes 35 leading research institutions, scientists, experts in health policy, and thought leaders.
This consortium will help to determine priorities and determine the best way for DDI’s to circulate critical findings. It will also facilitate communication between AWS customers, as well as external organizations, working towards the same goals.
The $20m will be in the form of AWS technical support and in-kind credits to assist AWS customers and research teams in taking full advantage of cloud services to end the global pandemic.
AWS Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector, Teresa Carlson, stated in a blog post that the DDI could have a threefold impact on the fight against COVID-19.
Carlson wrote, “First, accurate detection of pandemics is the tip-of-the spear for any effective response strategy to pandemics.”
“Second: Diagnostics research has historically been underfunded, and largely deprioritized in favour of a focus vaccines.
“Third, diagnostics organizations need reliable, scalable computing power. We can provide this along with industry-leading services such as machine learning and analytics, so they can quickly process large data sets and iterate.”
Steve Davis, a member of AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative’s advisory group, was a member of World Health Organization’s Digital Health Technical Advisory Group. He praised the private company for its efforts to encourage innovation.
Davis stated that the world needs more and greater private sector innovation to fight this pandemic.
“Amazon’s commitments to participation are very much welcome, especially since the absence of significant next-generation diagnostic instruments remains a significant gap in most health system.
“A platform that links research, digital capabilities, new products, and customers globally is an exciting venture”
Customers of AWS who are interested can visit the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative website for more information and to apply.
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