On Thursday, Amazon announced that they will invest $20 million to help develop fast COVID-19 testing.
Teresa Carlson, vice president for Amazon Web Services’ worldwide public sector business, wrote in a blog post that AWS is launching the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, which will support customers who are working to bring “better, more accurate, diagnostic solutions to market faster” and promote better collaboration between organizations working on similar problems.
“One area where we have heard an urgent need is in the research and development of diagnostics, which consist of rapid, accurate detection and testing of COVID-19. Better diagnostics will help accelerate treatment and containment, and in time, shorten the course of this epidemic,” Carlson said.
The AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative includes 35 global research institutions, startups, and businesses that are AWS customers. The program can also be used for other diseases as well. “Given the need, the emphasis will initially be on COVID-19, but we will also consider other infectious disease diagnostic projects,” Carlson added.
Many folks have been anxious about there not being enough COVID-19 tests to go around, often feeling in the dark about whether or not their symptoms mean they have the virus. More testing and faster diagnosis mean more people can hopefully isolate themselves and prevent spreading the disease to others. Knowledge is power, and we need all the information we can get to help us make healthy decisions during this crisis.