The global health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led Amazon to use its Amazon Web Services (AWS) business in order to help in the research and development of diagnostics, which consist of rapid, accurate detection and testing of COVID-19.
Amazon is launching the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative—a program to support those who are working to bring better, more accurate, diagnostics solutions to market faster and promote better collaboration across organizations that are working on similar problems. As part of this, Amazon is committing an initial investment of $20 million to accelerate diagnostic research and development to speed the collective understanding and detection of COVID-19 and other diagnostic solutions to mitigate future infectious disease outbreaks. Funding will be provided through a combination of AWS in-kind credits and technical support to assist Amazon's customers’ research teams in harnessing the full potential of the cloud to tackle this challenge.
The program 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 (testing that can be done at home or at a clinic with same-day results). Given the need, the emphasis initially will be on COVID-19, but Amazon will also consider other infectious disease diagnostic projects.
"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, organizations 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 analyze large data sets and iterate quickly," Amazon said.
The AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative will benefit from the counsel of an outside technical advisory group consisting of scientists, global health policy experts, and thought leaders in the field of infectious disease diagnostics. This advisory group will help set the initiative’s priorities.
Amazon is launching the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative with participation from 35 global research institutions, startups, and businesses focused on tackling this challenge.