AWS looks to digital health with new accelerator
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is creating a new accelerator aimed at the digital health space that will give 10 startups operating in the U.S. a four-week crash course in technical training and business development, includes a mentorship component.
AWS Healthcare Accelerator’s first cohort will be done in partnership with KidsX, a pediatric-focused digital health incubator that launched in September of 2020. However, the new AWS accelerator does not have a pediatric focus, companies in the accelerator program can cater to any patient population.
“The program is tailored to accelerate growth in the cloud, with a focus on solutions like remote patient monitoring, voice technology, analytics, patient engagement virtual care,” Sandy Carter, VP of partners programs for the worldwide public sector at AWS, wrote in a statement.
Carter said the accelerator will be looking for companies that “improve patient care, better health outcomes, lower cost of care.”
Applications are currently open close on July 23.
“Selected startups will receive AWS Promotional Credit, potential proof of concept opportunities with public sector healthcare customers, specialized AWS training, mentoring from healthcare domain technical subject matter experts, business development go-to-market guidance, investment guidance.”
Startups will also have a chance to collaborate with people inside the world of healthcare on everything from clinical validation to EHR integration.
WHY IT MATTERS
Digital health startups are having their day in the spotlight, in part due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Rock Health reported a whopping $14 billion in digital health venture deals. That momentum has not appeared to have stopped. In April, Rock Health reported a record-breaking $6.7 billion in first-quarter funding for digital health companies.
But it’s not just investors who are turning toward digital, but also big tech companies, like Amazon. Google, Apple, Facebook Amazon have all rolled out new digital health-focused initiatives within the last year.
This new accelerator signals that AWS is looking to work with startups in particular train them to use its web service. In the release, Carter noted that during the pandemic, there was a significant decrease in healthcare utilization rates, which could lead to issues down the pipeline. This issue could create a place for digital tools, she noted.
“This places healthcare startups in the unique position of being able to quickly provide turnkey solutions that can use data analytics to identify high-risk patients, create a platform to remotely engage deliver care for patients, or even pivot from their existing functionality to meet the needs of public sector healthcare,” Carter said.
THE LARGER TREND
AWS isn’t new to healthcare. Just two months ago, AWS announced that it would distribute $12 million in computing credits expertise to cloud-powered disease detection diagnostic tools.
In 2019, AWS launched Amazon Transcribe Medical, an automated speech recognition service that lets developers add medical dictation documentation to their apps.
But Amazon isn’t the only software giant that has put resources toward cloud-based healthcare technology. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare Google Cloud remain big competitors of AWS. Google Cloud has previously launched educational programs including the Healthcare Interoperability Readiness program, which helps providers with interoperability questions.