AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Unlocking Healthcare and Life Sciences Research with AWS

From introductory material to in-depth architectures, the AWS Public Sector Summit featured sessions relevant to healthcare and life science researchers.

The full set of session videos are located here, along with slides to match, but in this post, we will recap healthcare and life sciences sessions with a focus on our customers, such as the American Heart Association, the NIH National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Marrow Donor Program, and how they use the AWS Cloud to unlock the value of data and share insights.

Harmonize, Search, Analyze, and Share Scientific Datasets on AWS

Cardiovascular researchers face a challenge: how to make multi-generational clinical research studies more broadly accessible for discovery and analysis than they are today. Many datasets have been created by different people at different times and don’t conform to a common standard. With varying naming conventions, units of measurement, and categories, datasets can have data quality issues.

To support dataset harmonization, search, analysis, and sharing of results and insights, the American Heart Association created the AHA Precision Medicine Platform using a combination of managed and serverless services such as Jupyter Notebooks and Apache Spark on Amazon EMR, Amazon Elasticsearch, Amazon S3, Amazon Athena, and Amazon Quicksight. AHA and AWS have worked together to implement these techniques to bring together researchers and practitioners from around the globe to access, analyze, and share volumes of cardiovascular and stroke data. They are working to accelerate research and generate evidence around the care of patients at risk of cardiovascular disease – the number one killer in the United States and a leading global health threat.

Watch the Harmonize, Search, Analyze, and Share Scientific Datasets on AWS video with Dr. Taha Kass-Hout, representing the American Heart Association (AHA), to learn more about datasets on AWS and this video on how AHA leveraged Amazon Alexa and Lex chat bots as part of a new initiative to engage communities and individuals to promote better heart health by easy voice-enabled tracking of activities and diet.

Next-Generation Medical Analysis

The NIH National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases is working to make microbial genetics data available to microbiome researchers. They developed Nephele, a platform that allows researchers to perform large-scale analysis of data. Nephele uses standard infrastructure services, such as Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3, but also integrates serverless technologies like AWS Lambda for a cost-effective control-plane and resource provisioning.

Similarly, Dr. Caleb Kennedy from the National Marrow Donor Program defined a system for collecting vital information across a diverse set of participating clinics using standard data formats. They are looking to transform transplantation healthcare by integrating even more data into the system.

Watch the Next-Generation Medical Analysis video here to learn about how technology is enabling disruptive innovation in biomedical research and care.

IoT and AI Services in Healthcare

To help support the healthcare industry, AWS has Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) services enabling transformative new capabilities in healthcare. Learn more about IoT and AI Services in Healthcare and how these services can be applied in different scenarios. For instance, one AWS-savvy father is using Amazon Polly, Lex, and IoT buttons to create a verbal assistant for his autistic son.

Watch more of our sessions from the AWS Public Sector Summit here and learn more about genomics in the cloud at: https://aws.amazon.com/public-datasets/