How Indian health tech companies are using AWS technology to combat the spread of COVID-19
While governments around the world look at ways to stop the spread of COVID-19, healthcare technology companies in India and worldwide are providing new solutions built on AWS - for detection, diagnosis, and COVID-19 disease spread modelling.
A safer environment for healthcare workers
We chose AWS serverless computing technology to scale up rapidly in response to events, and automatically manage the computing resources required.
Innovaccer, a San Francisco-based healthcare technology company, with offices in India and Asia, launched COVID-19 Management System, a HIPAA-compliant solution that can conduct early community-based triage of COVID-19 patients through automated assessments in minutes. The solution also provides remote patient monitoring and treatment to offer a safer environment for healthcare workers. The multi-platform system is currently in use by more than 10,000 leading healthcare organizations, and government agencies in 500 locations across the world, including the Governments of Goa, and Puducherry in India, Physicians of Southwest Washington (PSW), and community health organization Elevate Health in Washington state.
The Goa Ministry of Health built “Test Yourself Goa” app, based on the Innovaccer solution. Within three days of launch, more than 25,000 citizens had already used the app to assess their vulnerability to COVID-19.
“We needed multiple services, such as tele-health, patient and provider apps, email, chat, and notification services, to perform at scale without having to worry about infrastructure and resource management. We chose AWS serverless computing technology to scale up rapidly in response to events, and automatically manage the computing resources required. This allows us to focus on the user experience minimising our time and costs significantly, and ensures data security and privacy,” says Kanav Hasija, co-founder and Chief Customer Officer at Innovaccer.
Finding new and innovative ways to detect COVID-19
As COVID-19 continues to put a strain on healthcare systems across the world with a rise in asymptomatic patients, a crucial step in combating the virus is the ability to triage patients who don’t show any of the typical symptoms, especially in places with a shortage of RT-PCR testing kits. RT-PCR is the de-facto standard sputum-based testing method for COVID-19 globally, and is prohibitively expensive.
Another way of testing patients, is using chest X-rays, which are common radiology diagnostic tests available everywhere. But, reading chest X-rays is a complex radiology task with high inter-reader variability, which means interpretations of the image can vary due to the skills of the person reading it. Machine learning can automate much of this process, making it more efficient, delivering results faster, and reducing errors.
AWS provides the scalability and support needed in deploying the solutions quickly and robustly across Italy, Asia, and other parts of the world.
Qure.ai, a healthcare startup built on AWS, has developed a machine learning powered solution, qXR, which uses X-rays to classify patients as high, medium, or low risk for COVID-19 in less than a minute. Built on data from more than 2.5 million radiology scans, qXR is capable of detecting problem areas and abnormalities that are indicative of COVID-19. qXR’s algorithm then uses a compilation of the location, size, and type of abnormalities, and presents the results.
Since Qure.ai launched added COVID-19 capabilities for its artificial intelligence (AI) software qXR in early March, it has deployed its chest X-ray solution in over 40 sites across South Asia, Europe, and North America, identifying approximately 5000 suspected cases on a weekly basis.
“When we are testing large numbers of patients, qXR can help in triaging asymptomatic patients who need immediate intervention for RT-PCR, so we can help identify cases before it’s too late,” says Rohit Ghosh, Founding Member, Qure.ai. "AWS provides the scalability and support needed in deploying the solutions quickly and robustly across Italy, Asia, and other parts of the world."
Using geo-mobility intelligence to arrest COVID-19 spread
Among the many ways of combating and slowing the spread of the virus, enforcing social distancing is considered one of the most effective. Geo-mobility data is valuable to understand and model population behaviour and this intelligence enables researchers, public officials, and enterprises to understand how social behavior is changing due to COVID-19 and ensure the appropriate national, state, and local response.
Data has a key role to play as we come to terms with the impact of this pandemic. Besides modelling the outbreak, it provides important inputs to help determine policy actions as the economy reopens.
TruFactor is an intelligence-as-a-service platform that provides mobile-first consumer data and intelligence. The company has a patented platform that ingests, filters, and processes over 100 Terabytes (TB) of data anonymously, using AI to produce graphs that combine digital signals, physical people movement data, and demographics.
“Data has a key role to play as we come to terms with the impact of this pandemic. Besides modelling the outbreak, it provides important inputs to help determine policy actions as the economy reopens. Our customers are using this data intelligence to model changes in customer behaviour to predict the new normal post COVID-19, and develop their business strategy,” says Vivek Iyer, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at TruFactor.
TruFactor has listed datasets on AWS Data Exchange, a service that makes it easy for millions of AWS customers worldwide to securely find, subscribe to, and use third-party data in the cloud. An AWS customer can browse and find the data, subscribe, and access it directly in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object storage public cloud service available from AWS.
Policy analysts, researchers and universities, are using TruFactor’s datasets to understand the impact of Stay-at-Home directives and model the potential spread of the outbreak over time. For not-for-profits, these intelligence sets are available for free. According to Vivek, there has been a 25 percent increase in requests for the TruFactor data since the COVID-19 outbreak, especially from universities and companies in the policy-making, retail, and financial services space.
Together, these organizations are harnessing the power of the cloud to innovate quickly and develop new healthcare technologies in a range of areas, that will not only help to combat the spread of COVID-19, but leave a lasting impact in the future.