Amazon Web Services introduces AWS for Health
Amazon Web Services this week introduced AWS for Health, a range of services aimed at helping healthcare and life science organizations reach their goals.
“AWS for Health provides proven and easily accessible capabilities that help organizations increase the pace of innovation, unlock the potential of health data, and develop more personalized approaches to therapeutic development and care,” wrote Patrick Combes, director, head of technology – healthcare and life sciences at AWS, in a blog post Thursday.
“AWS for Health simplifies the process for healthcare and life science enterprises and innovative startups to identify industry-leading, cloud-based solutions across 16 critical solution areas in healthcare, genomics, and biopharma,” Combes continued.
WHY IT MATTERS
When it comes to healthcare specifically, Amazon says AWS will allow organizations to accelerate the digitalization and utilization of their data.
The tools are aimed at addressing a range of needs, including clinical systems, analytics and AI/ML, patient and clinician experience, medical research, finance and operations, and core health IT.
For example, Amazon’s Epic on AWS solution allows users to migrate electronic health record workloads to the cloud, with a goal of increasing performance and automating many traditional IT tasks.
Of particular interest is Amazon HealthLake, which is available in select regions as of this week.
The HIPAA-eligible service uses machine learning to extract meaningful information from unstructured data, as well as organizing, indexing and storing that information in chronological order.
By leveraging the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources industry standard format, the software enables interoperability and allows users to analyze the newly structured data, as well as making it easier for organizations, researchers and practitioners to collaborate.
The company first announced HealthLake in December 2020, joining a host of other software giants in offering data management and analysis tools. HealthLake is available in eastern and western U.S. regions, with more availability coming soon.
“More and more of our customers in the healthcare and life sciences space are looking to organize and make sense of their reams of data, but are finding this process challenging and cumbersome,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Amazon Machine Learning for AWS, in a statement. “We built Amazon HealthLake to remove this heavy lifting for healthcare organizations so they can transform health data in the cloud in minutes and begin analyzing that information securely at scale.
“Alongside AWS for Health, we’re excited about how Amazon HealthLake can help medical providers, health insurers, and pharmaceutical companies provide patients and populations with data-driven, personalized and predictive care,” Sivasubramanian added.
THE LARGER TREND
Although AWS for Health as a curated offering is new, many of the company’s health-focused solutions have been available to customers for some time.
For instance, the Boston-area health system Wellforce made headlines just this past week when it announced it would be migrating its Epic infrastructure to AWS cloud, following in the footsteps of other systems such as Piedmont Athens Regional in Georgia.
And in March, Change Healthcare announced that it would offer data science-as-a-service in collaboration with AWS, aimed at helping health systems and life sciences organizations boost care plan design effectiveness.
ON THE RECORD
“Healthcare and life science organizations are moving towards digital transformation to decrease the cost of care, improve collaboration, make data-driven clinical and operational decisions, and enable faster development of new therapeutics and treatment paths,” wrote Combes in the AWS blog post.
“Identifying the right cloud technology to reach these goals can be challenging, and many organizations lack the internal resourcing and expertise to assess, build, and deploy their own solutions,” he added.
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