… Living throughout the Amazon River Basin often hidden and submerged, the Black Caiman Alligator is an apex predator that prefers to hunt at night …


Amazon Web Services / AWS and PHDA…

Amazon is extending its reach into healthcare. Their cloud computing business unit, AWS Cloud will share its machine learning ( artificial intelligence technology ) and enormous cloud computing resources with the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance ( PHDA ). PHDA will utilize AWS’ machine learning technology to tackle big data analytics and other heavy computing processes to generate information and insights leading to patient care breakthroughs and commercial product advancement. Eight initial projects have been defined for the start of the initiative and may expand to more.

Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

The clinical and digital intellect of PHDA combined with AWS computing power are a formidable tandem; the partnership will be orchestrating vast EHR, genomic, imaging, oncology, payer, pharmaceutical and other complex data within the cloud computing environment.

Elements of the 8 projects include:

· Creating an individual risk score for cancer patients to enable clinicians to better forecast the course of a patient’s disease and response to treatment

· Reducing medical diagnostic errors by mining the complete data of a patient’s medical record

· Deciphering a patient’s verbal and visual cues to diagnose and treat mental health symptoms

The advantages of cloud computing and machine learning…

There is reason for optimism that Amazon’s cloud computing power can be a distinguished difference maker in the success of each of the 8 initiatives. With cloud computing, you can call on resources as you need them, deploying hundreds or even thousands of servers in minutes. The cloud makes it easier and quicker to access an array of technology such as analytics, compute, database, machine learning, storage and many other resources on an as-needed basis. As a result, enormously large and deeply complex data tasks are completed much sooner.

Machine learning is when algorithms and statistical models that computer systems use to perform a specific task without using explicit instructions; they rely on patterns and inference instead. It is often used when explicit programing is too rigid or is impractical; it has the capability to analyze high dimensional problems with billions of examples, to find the optimal function that can predict an outcome with a given input. Considered a subset of artificial intelligence ( AI); AI becomes “smarter” and learns faster with more data to drive machine learning and deep learning solutions.

Formed in 2015, PHDA is comprised of three organizations…

Carnegie Mellon

Based in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private university dating back to 1900. It enrolls over 14,000 students and has an endowment of approximately $2.4 billion. While widely known for its highly demanding STEM academics, Carnegie Mellon University’s Arts, Business and Humanities programs are equally prestigious.

Carnegie Mellon University Logo
Carnegie Mellon University Logo

University of Pittsburgh

With origins dating back to 1787, University of Pittsburgh ( referred to as “Pitt” ) enrolls over 29,000 students and has an endowment of $4.2 billion. Pitt is the third-largest recipient of federally sponsored health research funding among U.S. universities and a leading recipient of research funding from the National Institute of Health. Pitt is widely known for its rigorous STEM curriculum and its other academic programs are equally highly regarded.

University of Pittsburgh logo
University of Pittsburgh logo

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Founded in 1893, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center ( UPMC ) is a $19 billion global nonprofit healthcare enterprise. UPMC has 40 hospitals, 8,000 licensed beds, 600+ additional patient care facilities, a 3.4 million member managed care plan plus other business and international operating units. It is a leader in advanced patient care innovation; for example UPMC Transplant Services has performed more than 20,000 organ transplant surgery procedures, including liver, kidney, pancreas, small bowel, liver/small bowel, heart, heart/lung, double-lung, single-lung and multi-organ transplants. Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center logo
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center logo

Amazon Web Services / Cloud is a global leader…

Many persons are unaware of Amazon’s vast computing resources and business enterprises aside from the Amazon ecommerce website. Amazon has consistently invested in its computing infrastructure and advancing the development of new technologies and applications such as Alexa. Its cloud computing enterprise is a robust and growing force:

· About one-third of daily internet users will access a site supported by AWS

· Over $25.6 billion in annual revenue

· Providing services since 2006

· Customers from over 190 countries!

· 1 million+ active customer accounts spanning 5,000 education institutions, 2,000 government agencies and more than 17,500+ nonprofit organizations

· 31% of global cloud infrastructure as a service of market share

Amazon Web Services logo
Amazon Web Services logo

An Existing Collegiate Partnership In Supercomputing…

University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon are already collaborative partners in advanced computing technology. They formed the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center in 1986. PSC is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry. It is a leading partner in XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment), the National Science Foundation cyber-infrastructure program. PSC provides advanced computing resources to researcher across the United States. During the summer of 2019, the National Science Foundation granted $10 million dollars to buy yet another supercomputer being built by Hewlett Packard; known as Bridges-2. It will specialize in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Looking Ahead…

AWS is essentially donating its technical resources to PHDA and will undoubtedly gain insights to apply to its own healthcare computing initiatives and fortify their expanding position in the healthcare industry. Regardless of their gain, it is extraordinarily generous for Amazon to partner with academia and healthcare providers on a pro bono basis for high stakes, deep healthcare data research that will put brain power and computing power to the test and has the potential to help millions of patients, students and medical professionals: THANK YOU, AMAZON!

There are presently no time limits in place for PHDA to utilized AWS resources and AWS does not have rights to any potential commercial developments PHDA may generate from the initiative. Participating in arrangements like the one essentially position AWS as a competitor to Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft and other companies exploring opportunities to grow knowledge and revenue in healthcare. The AWS and PHDA partnership has substantial promise to produce breakthrough advances in patient care and technology that otherwise would have taken decades to develop.

Thank you for reading this article. Check out my other stories about healthcare technology, healthcare digital marketing and healthcare social media strategy; connect with me further through my social media links:




Image of Black Caiman Alligator In Amazon Rain Forest courtesy of The National Geographic Society

John Baresky: Healthcare Marketing Leader…

· Numerous medical specialties and sectors including ​hospital, health system, IDN, MTF, surgery center, LTC, dialysis, oncology, pharmacy ( retail, mail, compounding, specialty ), GPO, distributor, wholesaler, consumer / patient, employers, benefit consulting and payers ( MCO, BCBS, PBM, Medicaid, Medicare, DHA / TRICARE )

· Digital marketing, SEO, content development, email marketing, PPC, clinical/promotional print and digital collateral, brand management, product management, market research, segmentation, marketing / sales collaboration, corporate communications, budgeting, forecasting, vendor management, managed care, market access

· Healthcare programs, services, pharmaceuticals, medical device technology, wireless EHR connectivity, disposables, software, SaaS, RPA ( Robotic Process Automation )

Healthcare Marketing Leader — John G. Baresky

Written by

Healthcare Marketing, Digital Marketing, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, Software, Managed Care, Market Access https://www.linkedin.com/in/johngbaresky/

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