Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to pour $40 million into organizations working on health outcomes for underserved and underrepresented communities over the next three years.
The effort will also give participating organizations AWS credits and technical support. Companies applying for the funds should be focused on expanding health access to underserved communities, addressing social determinants of health or using data to make a more equitable health system.
Organizations interested in applying to the program must send in their application by Nov. 15.
WHY IT MATTERS
Health inequities have been a major conversation in the medical community over the last year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Black, Latino and Native American individuals had disproportionate hospitalization rates among every age group, according to the CDC.
Many health outcomes are linked to factors that happen outside of the hospital. In fact, according to the American Action Forum, only about 10-20% of health outcomes are attributed to medical care. Thirty percent are attributed to genetics; 40-50%, behavioral; and another 20%, a patient’s social and physical environment.
THE LARGER TREND
This isn’t AWS’ first dip into the health equity space. The company boasts that its technology has helped the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved, Health Impact’s Trust A Nurse, Ask A Nurse and the Rush University Medical Center Population Health Analytics Hub.
The company has also pledged money to combat other medical issues. In April, AWS announced that it would distribute $12 million toward cloud-powered disease-fighting tools. In 2020, the company also announced a $20 million investment to help fuel COVID-19 diagnostics, research and testing.