Startups, Health Tech

Amazon’s cloud services business launches digital health accelerator

The accelerator, created by Amazon Web Services, will pick 10 healthcare startups in the U.S. using cloud-based services. To start, it will focus on solutions like remote patient monitoring, voice technology, analytics, patient engagement, and virtual care.

Amazon’s cloud services business is launching a new healthcare accelerator for startups. Called the AWS Healthcare Accelerator, the four-week program will pick 10 startups using cloud technology to respond to challenges in healthcare.

“The program is tailored to accelerate growth in the cloud, with a focus on solutions like remote patient monitoring, voice technology, analytics, patient engagement, and virtual care,” Sandy Carter, vice president of worldwide public sector partners and programs for AWS, wrote in a Monday blog post announcing the accelerator. 

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It’s the first time Amazon has run a digital health accelerator, but not necessarily a surprise, given the online retailer’s recent steps to grow its presence in healthcare. Late last year, Amazon rolled out a pharmacy business based on its acquisition of PillPack, and more recently, the company started making a telehealth service for its employees available to other companies as a covered benefit. In the meantime, competition over cloud services in healthcare is heating up as Amazon, Google and Microsoft vie for more hospital clients.  

AWS is running the program in collaboration with KidsX, a pediatrics digital health accelerator that has ties to more than 50 children’s hospitals around the world. KidsX was brought in as a partner based on its past experience running healthcare accelerators and its network of healthcare organizations, Carter wrote. That said, participating startups do not need to be specifically focused on pediatrics. 

To apply, startups must be based or have existing operations in the U.S. They also must have existing customers and revenue. Applications are currently open and proposals are due by July 23.

Applications will be judged on several factors, including the overall value of a solution for the healthcare industry, the creative application of AWS to solve problems, and the team’s ability to deliver, Carter wrote. 

Participating companies will get an AWS promotional credit, mentoring from healthcare and technology experts, and potential opportunities to collaborate with AWS healthcare customers. Some might also have the opportunity to have their solutions used in a health system as a proof-of-concept.

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