Amazon Web Services, UC Davis Health partner to enhance digital health equity

USA – University of California’s  Davis Health has opened a first-of-its-kind Health Cloud Innovation Center (CIC), which is entirely powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The center will enable providers, patients, developers, and students to create and validate digital health equity solutions.

The CIC, which is powered by Amazon Web Services and is billed as the first of its kind, will work to facilitate idea exchange among clinicians, patients, developers, and students.

According to the health system, it will also facilitate the design and prototyping of tools aimed at advancing digital health equity.

The AWS Cloud Innovation Center Program enables public sector organizations to develop and test innovations using AWS technology.

AWS has 13 CICs around the world, but this is the first time AWS’ CIC program has been implemented at an academic medical center.

The pandemic exposed the deeply entrenched health inequities that exist in the United States—and while digital health tools aim to address health inequities, the technology isn’t always accessible to everyone.

By increasing accessibility through convenience, digital health can help to make healthcare more equitable.

Telehealth options, for example, break down geographic barriers and eliminate wait times between scheduling and attending appointments by allowing patients to access care on-demand in many cases.

During the pandemic, increased access to telehealth allowed more people to access mental healthcare than ever before.

According to Cigna’s analysis, from March to May 2020, 97 percent of people who sought mental health services had never filed a mental health claim.

However, factors such as health insurance coverage for virtual care or broadband access keep the promise of digital health out of reach for many people.

The healthcare cloud market is rapidly expanding, and AWS appears to be leading the charge. According to Insider Intelligence, healthcare cloud spending will reach US$19.71 billion by 2023.

According to Gartner’s research, AWS leads the global cloud market, with players such as Microsoft and Google trailing behind.

Furthermore, AWS has formed alliances with prominent partners such as Olive, GE Healthcare, and Salesforce, which provide tools such as remote monitoring technology that are beneficial to health systems.

Health systems will increasingly invest in the cloud as they realize the long-term benefits of digital health transformation, such as the ability to store and share large amounts of health data cheaply and efficiently.

Cloud providers such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have recognized this value and are investing even more heavily in healthcare.

Kaiser Permanente, for example, hired Microsoft to upgrade its cloud infrastructure for its more than 12 million patients, and the Mayo Clinic and Ascension health systems signed multiyear contracts with Google Cloud.

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