… The Amazon’s Black Caiman Alligator prefers to be semi-submerged during the day, hunting at night using it’s superior vision and hearing senses …


Amazon Web Services (AWS) is teaming up with the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance (PHDA) to tackle some of healthcare’s deepest data challenges.


John G. Baresky

AWS and PHDA are launching an advanced healthcare computing collaboration. The program’s aim is to accelerate progress in healthcare initiatives that are data-heavy endeavors including medical imaging, population health, precision medicine and oncology. A total of 8 studies are featured in their plans through which each of the members will contribute staff, time, clinical and technical resources.

PHDA is an academic, clinical and technical partnership

PHDA was formed in 2015 and consists of 3 member organizations:

  • University of Pittsburgh (PITT)
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

PHDA combines the academic, clinical, financial and technical attributes of the 3 organizations to work on complex healthcare challenges that intertwine clinical elements and advanced data analytics.

AWS and PHDA are clinical and technical superpowers

By combining the cloud computing resources of AWS with the clinical and technical intellect of PHDA, data-driven insights can be arrived at sooner. Healthcare is a data generating and data-dependent industry. Electronic health records (EHR), diagnostics data, patient outcomes data, imaging files and other healthcare information system resources are intricate and vast.

Many healthcare data platforms and formats are not readily compatible and when enormous amounts of data and complex processes are involved, it is challenging to orchestrate all of the resources to achieve results. The AWS and PHDA alliance has the staff, experience and technology to overcome these hurdles.

UPMC continues to transform itself as a healthcare organization

Each of the organizations brings something unique and valuable to the venture. UPMC is a global leader in patient care and the advancement of medicine. The healthcare provider organization is a multidimensional business complete with hospitals, clinics, a commercial health plan as well as a venture funding department known as UPMC Enterprises.

The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University embrace the far reaches of computing technology

Pitt and CMU are two well-known and highly respected universities. They and Westinghouse formed the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) in 1968. The organization has decades of experience in supercomputing sciences and has progressed through generations of CRAY, D.E. Shaw Research (DESRES), HP, IBM, Intel, NVIDIA, SGI and other supercomputing hardware and software technologies.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has vast and secure global IT resources

Founded in 2006, AWS is the global cloud computing and web-based technology business unit of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). It has clients in more than 190 countries spanning an array of industries. Their cloud and service structure is supported by data centers in Australia, Brazil, Europe, Japan, Singapore and the United States.

AWS will be able to provide on-demand adjunctive and primary computing, storage, network services and guidance throughout the duration of their collaboration with PHDA.

Much to look forward to in healthcare innovation

The combination of academic, clinical and commercial enterprise resources the PHDA and AWS collaboration represents is significant. Their approach avoids fragmented data collection and analytics while integrating guidance from medical professionals throughout the process. Their new insights and breakthrough developments are highly anticipated by patients and the medical community.

Thank you for reading this story

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