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AWS Allocates $10 Mn Grant to US Hospitals for Boosting Pediatric Cancer Research

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

June 27, 2024

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The funding is aimed at accelerating research, improving the well-being of children, and supporting the pediatric workforce and caregivers. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has allocated a whopping $10 million as a grant to advance pediatric rare disease research, including cancer to three hospitals in the US.

The first round of funding, consisting of three $1 million grants, has been awarded to Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and the Children’s Brain Tumor Network at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

This was announced at AWS’ annual summit in Washington DC held on Wednesday.

How will the Grant be Utilized?

AWS stated that the grants, without restrictions, will enable these institutions to further their research in pediatric cancer and rare diseases. 

The funding is aimed at accelerating research, improving the well-being of children, and supporting the pediatric workforce and caregivers. The hospitals are already utilizing AWS software for these purposes.

"Many pediatric cancers and rare diseases remain underfunded and understudied. This often leaves families with limited treatment options. When research does occur, it is frequently confined to a single institution with a small patient sample," an AWS blog post stated.

The remaining $7 million will support the AWS IMAGINE Grant: Children’s Health Innovation Award. This grant will be distributed to global nonprofits focusing on pediatric rare disease research, maternal and child health, and empowering the pediatric workforce and caregivers. 

Additionally, the grant includes AWS Promotional Credits for implementing AWS Cloud technology and software in their research initiatives.

"Nonprofits do not have to use or adopt AWS technology to receive a grant. The funds will be available to nonprofits worldwide,"an AWS spokesperson clarified.

Cloud Technology & AI in Pediatric Research

AWS highlighted the potential of cloud technology and AI to enhance pediatric research. The company believes cloud technology can help researchers understand the genetic makeup of pediatric rare diseases using de-identified and anonymized data. 

Nationwide Children’s Hospital is leveraging the cloud to compute genomic data and share results.

AWS aims to promote greater adoption of the cloud to create a collaborative environment for pediatric researchers, breaking down data silos in the narrow field of rare disease research.

“Creating cloud-based data repositories is only the first step to more effectively treat rare childhood diseases. AWS can power data-driven insights and innovative applications to enhance care, increase the efficiency of care delivery, and personalize treatment plans,” the funding announcement noted.

Children’s National Hospital has already started using AI to screen infants for rare genetic conditions, showcasing the practical application of AWS’s vision.

Reportedly, this initiative of AWS will significantly impact the global fight against pediatric rare diseases. By providing substantial financial support and advanced technological resources, AWS enables hospitals and nonprofits to push the boundaries of current research and treatment capabilities.

The funds from AWS are expected to drive significant advancements in the understanding and treatment of pediatric cancers and other rare diseases, ultimately improving outcomes for affected children worldwide.


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