Amazon Web Services has unveiled the latest cohort for its Healthcare Accelerator, comprising 23 companies working with mentors to advance digital solutions using the latest cloud technology.
Like numerous sectors, the healthcare industry is severely struggling due to a global labor shortage. Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced the newest cohort of twenty-three startups for its Healthcare Accelerator program to tackle this growing issue.
Each AWS accelerator is a technical, business, and mentorship program, fostering close ties with the most impressive industry startups. Last year’s accelerator was dedicated to health equity; in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global health worker shortage is front and center.
How It Works
AWS intends for the program to help tech startups advance three critical needs of the healthcare industry: retention, deployment, and training. Through cloud-based, digital solutions, it’s hoped these startups will overcome the shortfall in workers by improving the efficiency of current healthcare practices.
As Dr. Rowland Illing, AWS’s director of International Public Sector Health & the Global Healthcare Venture Capital and Startups team wrote in a recent think-piece, startups help providers “reduce individual workloads by removing friction in day-to-day processes, streamlining clinical workflows, reducing documentation burden, outsourcing basic tasks to artificial intelligence-enabled solutions, and supporting well-being and flexible work arrangements.”
That’s not all: AWS has also eyed secure information exchange, remote monitoring, patient engagement, training tools, and mobile health workforce as key components of their strategy to combat labor shortages.
To join the accelerator, companies battled against significant competition from hundreds of global applicants; only the most innovative made the nearly two dozen finalists.
Babblevoice is one of the successful startups; it operates a practice-wide communications system designed to reduce the workload of primary care reception staff. Another primary-care platform is eConsolt: a digital triage and consultation application intended for use by doctors and nurses pressed for time.
Other companies include PathologyWatch, an AI-assisted tool that optimizes dermatology pathology workflows by directly interfacing with electronic health records; and Navenio, which liaises with hospital support teams, like cleaners and allied health professionals, to optimize performance.
The Future of Healthcare
Collectively, these startups span the length and breadth of the healthcare industry, using the latest technologies, including AI, and innovative solutions to improve patient care and medical efficiency.
Jeff Kratz, AWS general manager of Worldwide Public Sector Partners, explained that the healthcare accelerator initiatives aiming to address burnout and staffing shortages through decentralized care technologies are part of a growing trend toward telemedicine.
He added that technologies supporting decentralized care in virtual wards, community settings, and home care settings demonstrate a tremendous opportunity. The next step is to “allow these solutions to scale” using cloud-based technology – which is where AWS comes in.
The COVID-19 Aftermath
According to Dr. Chris DeRienzo, AHA’s chief physician executive, COVID-19 played a significant role in the current staffing shortages. After managing over six million COVID-19 patients, many physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have stepped away from the industry. He believes technology holds the answer to the resultant labor issues.
“I’ve seen firsthand how technology can improve care processes, allowing both clinicians and support team members to spend more of their time improving patient outcomes.”
With its strong commitment to retention, deployment, and training, AWS’s latest accelerator program may therefore hold the key to addressing the most pressing issue healthcare providers face worldwide.