According to a Nov. 16 blog post, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced its new AWS Healthcare Accelerator Global Cohort for Workforce Development at the HLTH 2022 event in Las Vegas.
The blog states that “In the U.S., the surgeon general highlighted health worker burnout as an urgent challenge, and the picture is similar across the world. All 53 European and central Asian countries in WHO’s European Region currently face health workforce challenges, and WHO reports that in some areas as many as nine out of 10 nurses declared an intention to quit their jobs.”
Millions of patients globally, according to the blog, have experienced delays in care, longer recovery times, and decreased chances of survival due to healthcare staffing challenges.
“At AWS, we believe technology can be a key enabler in addressing these challenges,” the blog adds. “In a subset from a new Gallup and AWS survey, 70 percent of 845 healthcare business and IT leaders from 19 countries indicated that digital technologies need to be implemented to improve their organization’s performance. And, two thirds of more than 2,000 global survey respondents working in human health, residential care, and social work roles said they were ‘very interested’ in digital skills training (69 percent). Additionally, workers with advanced digital skills were more than twice as likely to rate their employment satisfaction as an 8 out of 10 or higher, compared with those who only use basic digital skills (79 percent vs. 38 percent).”
The AWS Healthcare Accelerator will be a four-week technical, business, and mentorship program and is the organization’s first global healthcare cohort focused on workforce development. Startups that are selected will receive up to $25,000 in AWS computing credits, AWS training, mentorship from healthcare specific subject matter experts, business development and more. Additionally, startups will have the opportunity to hear from AWS customers and members of AWS Partner Network.
The blog says that “AWS is seeking applications from startups focused on one or more of the following areas:
- Training workforce: This includes innovations that make learning more interesting and customized in areas such as continuous professional development (CPD) and rapid digital skill upskilling. Eligible solutions may, for example, leverage machine learning (ML) for customized learning and rapid assessment, augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) simulation training for healthcare, and enablement training for new ways of working.
- Retaining workforce: This includes innovations that reduce individual workloads by removing friction from work processes and systems, and innovations that enable wellbeing and flexible working. Eligible solutions may, for example, use technology to streamline clinical work flows, automate repetitive or routine tasks, upskill existing roles, or outsource basic tasks to artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled solutions.
- Deploying workforce: This includes technologies that support new ways of working in healthcare in virtual wards, community settings, and home care settings. Eligible solutions may, for example, use technology that monitors data to safely deploy mobile workforces or collaborative tools that empower patients and reduce repetitive tasks.”
This accelerator cohort builds on the $40 million commitment to the AWS Health Equity Initiative and the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, a $20 million commitment to help organizations globally that use AWS to drive diagnostic innovations.
“Startups from anywhere in the world with a validated solution, existing customers and revenue, and that use or seek to use AWS to help solve these challenges in healthcare workforces will be considered to participate,” the blog comments. “Startups operating outside of healthcare with relevant, evidence-based solutions can also apply as an opportunity to evaluate their solution’s fit within healthcare.”
Applications must be received by January 8, 2023. Applications will be judged on factors including the innovation nature of the company, the overall value the solution brings to the healthcare industry, and the creative application of AWS to solve workforce problems. More information can be found here.