University of California, Davis Health announced this week that it had launched a new Cloud Innovation Center.
Powered by Amazon Web Services and billed as the first of its kind, the CIC will work toward enabling idea exchange among clinicians, patients, developers and students. It will also, said the health system, facilitate design and prototype tools aimed at furthering digital health equity.
“Digital health equity has become a front-and-center issue, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Lubarsky, CEO of UC Davis Health, in a statement.
“Many of our underserved communities have struggled even more to receive the care they need, and the digital divide has only widened,” Lubarsky added. “We are committed to finding innovative ways to make healthcare more accessible to every patient, no matter who they are or where they live.”
WHY IT MATTERS
According to the organizations, UC Davis Health and AWS will each commit staff to explore digital health equity issues through the CIC alongside clinicians, students, groups and the community.
Potential areas of exploration include challenges with remote patient care and discrepancies in health tech, along with related hurdles such as transportation.
The institution will publish any findings in an open-source capacity for others to access and build upon.
UC Davis Health noted that the CIC is part of its Digital Collaborative for Innovation and Validation, or CoLab, which will act as a liaison among the various actors.
“We are committed to advancing digital-first and data-driven models of care to continue to provide exceptional patient care and experiences,” said Keisuke Nakagawa, executive director of the UC Davis Health CIC and director of innovation for the Digital CoLab.
“Our collaboration with Amazon Web Services will provide us with a tool to unlock the intrapreneurial spirit of our clinicians, patients, and developers in the region,” Nakagawa added.
THE LARGER TREND
UC Davis Health says it is the first academic medical center to launch a CIC of this kind with AWS – but Amazon’s focus on cloud-driven health technology is nothing new.
Back in 2017, Amazon’s then-director of healthcare and life sciences, Steve Halliwell, told Healthcare IT News that cloud computing can allow healthcare organizations to be more nimble when it comes to innovation and growth.
“Technical lock-in is not a concept that applies to customers building on top of AWS, as it’s easy to switch to different technology if it makes sense for you and your patients,” he said.
More recently, this year, AWS introduced AWS for Health, a range of services aimed at helping healthcare and life science organizations reach their goals.
ON THE RECORD
“Our collaboration with UC Davis Health, a vast and diverse health system, brings together our commitment to improve health outcomes with an organization that is deeply invested in addressing health disparities and providing the best care to communities,” said Kim Majerus, vice president of education, state and local government at AWS.