AWS launches initiative to accelerate Covid-19 testing research

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Amazon Web Services commits $20m for customers working on diagnostic solutions

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23 March 2020 | 0

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is investing $20 million in a programme to support customers who are working to bring Covid-19 diagnostic solutions to market faster and promote better collaboration across organizations that are working on similar problems.

The programme – AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative – will be open to accredited research institutions and private entities that are using AWS to support research-oriented workloads for the development of point-of-care diagnostics.

A statement from the caompany read: “We believe we can make a difference with the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative program for several reasons. First, accurate detection is the tip of the spear for any effective pandemic response strategy. Second, diagnostics research has historically been underfunded and largely deprioritized in favor of a focus on vaccines. Third, organisations working on diagnostics need reliable, scalable compute power, which we can deliver to them along with industry-leading services like analytics and machine learning, so they can process and analyse large data sets and iterate quickly.”

 

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The Initiative will benefit from the input of an outside technical advisory group of scientists, global health policy experts, and thought leaders in the field of infectious disease diagnostics from 35 global research institutions, startups, and businesses. This advisory group will set the initiative’s priorities, help innovate ways to enable participants to securely share critical research findings, and foster better dialogue between AWS customers and other external organisations.

Steve Davis, member of the World Health Organisation’s Digital Health Technical Advisory Group and a member of the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative’s technical advisory group said: “The world needs more and more private sector innovation to combat this pandemic.

“Amazon’s commitments and participation are very welcome, particularly since the lack of significant next-generation diagnostic tools remains a large gap in most health systems. A platform to link research, digital capabilities, and new products to customers globally is an exciting venture.”

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