How Amazon Web Services is supporting people and organizations in their response to COVID-19
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is supporting customers with secure, advanced cloud technologies and technical expertise—so they can provide critical assistance to their communities at this difficult time. On this blog we are sharing some inspiring examples of how organizations across all sectors are using AWS to deliver essential services to millions of people, in healthcare, education, and beyond.
For daily updates on how Amazon is responding to the crisis, and how we're supporting our employees, customers, and communities, please visit the global round-up on our Day One blog.
- AWS has invested $20 million to help accelerate the research and development of rapid, accurate detection and testing for COVID-19. Read more.
- AWS creates a public source for critical COVID-19 data to aid ongoing research. The data lake, which compiles datasets from multiple sources, will help healthcare workers, medical researchers, scientists, and public health officials working to understand and fight the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. Read more.
- AWS is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to accelerate the effort to track the coronavirus, understand its outbreak, and to better contain its spread.
- AWS is supporting healthcare providers around the world with a range of tools and technologies to support healthcare workers and patients, and to ease the burden on their systems, from enabling them to deliver services remotely, to more effectively assess and allocate resources.
- AWS is providing organisations and individuals around the world with tools for collaborative working, online meetings and livestreaming. Read more.
- AWS is supporting educators to build online platforms and teaching solutions to move millions of students and teachers to remote learning. Read more.
- AWS is providing tools, technology and technical support to community initiatives and activities around the world, from hotlines and platforms for the elderly and vulnerable, to hackathons to enable people contribute their skills, to share and test ideas to help address COVID-19.
Continue checking here for regular updates on how AWS is working with people and organizations across Europe, Middle East, and Africa, to respond to COVID-19.
London Borough of Hackney uses AWS to support at-risk residents
The London Borough of Hackney, a local government authority within the capital, is using AWS to provide support to its most at-risk residents and enhance citizen services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The council compiled data from a broad range of sources including council stats (for example housing benefit and council tax), housing and social care data. From this analysis, it was able to identify local people most vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of the crisis and ensure that council teams could take the necessary steps to provide support to these residents through its coronavirus helpline. The council hosts APIs on AWS, which can be used to better understand how to provide support for its residents. The Council also created a ‘Find Support Services’ map using AWS to support the helpline. The map, which is also listed on AWS’s Open Government Solutions page, displays voluntary and community organisations offering help to Hackney’s diverse community, especially to those who are affected by the coronavirus.
AWS powers Zipabout to manage capacity and flow of UK transport networks during COVID-19
British tech start-up Zipabout has developed the ‘Passenger Connect’ dashboard to help the rail industry better predict and manage capacity during COVID-19. Run on AWS, and available for free to all UK train operating companies, the dashboard features real-time heat maps that provide a visual representation of passenger demand across the country. The dashboard is uniquely able to predict which routes are likely to be busier than normal in order to help with crowd management and service planning. Zipabout have been engaged by the Department for Transport to use Passenger Connect to help rebuild passenger confidence. As well as advising passengers if disruption and overcrowding will affect their trip, the Passenger Connect personalised messaging service provides alternative travel options, helping people maintain social distancing as they continue to make essential journeys.
AWS supports Soul Machines to globally deploy digital health worker as part of World Health Organization Access Initiative for Quitting Tobacco
The World Health Organization (WHO) has collaborated with Soul Machines, an Artificial General Intelligence research company, with the support of AWS, to develop a digital health worker named ‘Florence’. Florence is designed to help over one billion tobacco users quit, while sharing life-saving information from the WHO during the COVID-19 pandemic, to combat misinformation, and reduce the risk of transmission. Soul Machines’ autonomous animation – featuring its patented ‘Digital Brain’ – enables Florence to be dynamically interactive and emotionally responsive, with personality and character. Florence responds with answers and guidance from the latest health advisory from the WHO in conversational form, and triages users to regional support health lines to help them develop a plan to quit tobacco use. AWS worked with WHO and Soul Machines to globally deploy the platform, and provided credits and technical assistance to ensure Florence can seamlessly scale to help people across the world access critical information related to the pandemic.
Imperial College London to launch COVID-19 ‘infodemic’ knowledge platform using AWS
A new project led by Imperial College London and enabled by AWS is responding to the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’ with the creation of a global knowledge platform. Known as REDASA (REaltime Data Analysis and Synthesis), the platform will pool global data on COVID-19 from over half a million sources and combine human curation with AWS machine learning services, including Natural Language search and data labelling built on Amazon Kendra and Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth, to perform deep data analysis. This will help the healthcare community find important insights in real-time, make sense of the vast amounts of information pouring in, develop better treatment plans and accelerate R&D. Read more here.
Irish public health service builds pandemic response app on AWS
In Ireland, AWS is providing the underlying cloud infrastructure for the Health Service Executive (HSE)’s ‘Pandemic Response’ smartphone app, which aims to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The primary purpose of the app is to enable the HSE to improve the speed, accuracy, and effectiveness of contact tracing. Each app broadcasts a list of random IDs; users who test positive for COVID-19 can choose to upload their list of IDs anonymously. Other smartphones with the HSE app will automatically search this list for a match and display an alert if a match is detected. Using AWS provides the HSE with a secure, scalable, and reliable solution that is hosted in Ireland and complies with international regulations and compliance standards including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The HSE uses AWS’s extensive portfolio of security services to ensure all data is encrypted when in transit and at rest.
Amazon joins UNESCO Global Education Coalition to support students and teachers transition to remote learning environments
To help ensure students, wherever they are in the world, continue to get the education they deserve, Amazon is proud to join the UNESCO Global Education Coalition. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Education and Technology experts, and our vast partner network, are working with UNESCO in a variety of ways to provide countries with best practices, resources, and support to help students and educators transition to remote learning environments. As we continue to grow our involvement with UNESCO we will support additional programs, such as teacher training and access to books, to help UNESCO reach over 1.6 billion students in more than 180 countries.
TDS (Time Data Security) is working to assist businesses with a return to work action plan
TDS is a Dublin headquartered company that provides digital security solutions for some of the largest enterprises in the world. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, TDS is working to assist businesses with a return to work action plan and is using AWS to develop solutions to some of the most pressing logistical challenges faced by businesses today - managing and monitoring staff and visitors returning to workplaces. Using a broad range of AWS services including compute (Amazon EC2), databases (Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB), and serverless (AWS Lambda), TDS created a series of new features for their suite of visitor management solutions. These include: ‘Visitor Contactless Check In’, a fully-contactless check-in process, which combines the standard TDS visitor kiosk system, a mobile check-in platform and geo-location technology; ‘Visitor Custom Alerts’, a custom alert notifications feature on all TDS visitor service systems to provide the most up to date screening advice to support organisations; and ‘Headcounting for Social Distancing’, a feature that monitors the occupancy threshold for a particular zone or location in real-time, and can limit entry when the maximum number is reached. By using AWS, TDS was able to build these services in just three weeks. TDS works with businesses in every industry in Ireland, including the House of Oireachtas Commission, Analog Devices, Pfizer, and Brown Thomas, as well as businesses around the world including Accenture, Go Daddy, Mastercard, Google, Goldman Sachs, LinkedIn.
Genomics England launches next-generation research platform using AWS
Genomics England, which was initially established to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project by the Department of Health & Social Care, and is now evolving to become a sustainable government-owned company delivering genomic data services to healthcare professionals and researchers, is using AWS to deliver its next-generation genomics research platform in the fight against COVID-19. The new platform will give researchers access to genomic data collected in relation to COVID-19 so that they can study the virus to better understand it and treat people who are ill. This will include researchers exploring whether there are genetic factors that make people more susceptible to getting COVID-19 and to the efficacy of different treatment options. So for example all the genomics data that was collected as part of the GenOMICC study will be stored on AWS. The GenOMICC study did genome sequencing of 20,000 people infected with COVID-19 who were seriously ill and in intensive care and 15,000 people with mild symptoms. This new research environment will transform how genomic data is used for global biopharma and academic research, and will provide patient data security, while enabling the flexibility required for research at the cutting edge of science. Genomics England is using AWS’s UK infrastructure region, and enabling analysis and collaboration through British deep-tech company Lifebit’s technology platform. Read more here.
AWS supports free rides for healthcare workers in Stockholm
European on-demand transportation company Bolt has been providing healthcare workers in Stockholm, Sweden, with free weekend rides during the COVID-19 crisis, to make it easier, safer and quicker for them to get to work. Bolt’s platform, which provides ride-hailing and scooter sharing services for more than 30 million users in 35 countries worldwide, is built entirely on AWS. We are supporting Bolt’s free service for healthcare workers with credits to offset the infrastructure costs for 5,000 or so free rides Bolt has offered as part of the initiative. This has not only helped health care workers, but has also been a source of new income for local cab drivers and businesses who have faced drastically reduced demand for their services during the crisis.
AWS collaborates with Outsystems on COVID-19 Community Response Program
OutSystems provides a software development platform that helps companies develop, deploy and manage enterprise-grade applications. It committed to help organizations during the COVID-19 crisis by donating its products and expertise to assist with the launch of 20 digital projects around the globe that are focused on helping address the impacts of the pandemic. The projects include helping small businesses have an online presence, launching a digital platform where artists can create content and receive benefits, developing apps to monitor virus infections, and many others. AWS is supporting OutSystems in these efforts and is providing the 20 projects with AWS credits to cover costs, while enabling them to quickly stand up and scale. OutSystems is also providing free access to its enterprise-grade development software, which runs on AWS.
AWS partner helps local authorities in UK deliver faster and more effective social care
An automated service to enable the remote delivery of social care will help local authorities to ensure the safety and wellbeing of shielded and vulnerable people in their communities. PA Consulting, an AWS partner, has built the Wellbeing Automated Contact Service (WACS) in response to the COVID-19 crisis. It has quickly created a solution that automates the wellbeing check and triage of individual’s needs via a simple phone call. It is being used by a number of local authorities, including Hampshire County Council, which has been able to provide support to vulnerable people 12 times faster than usual, while reducing the number of staff calls to individuals who require support by 92%. This has freed up the council’s contact centre officers to focus on the 10% of individuals on the shielded list who require immediate additional support. WACS assesses if an individual needs to be put in touch with the relevant council professional to discuss their specific needs in detail, or if the individual is feeling lonely, they will be scheduled to have regular calls with a volunteer. If the individual doesn’t require either of these services, the tool will offer to automate and schedule a regular check-in with them on a weekly basis, in line with government guidance.
New voucher and e-commerce platform built on AWS to support local hair salons in Ireland
Phorest was built in Ireland in 2003, entirely on AWS, to help salon owners succeed in business by providing marketing, management and growth software. It is currently used by over 90,000 salon and spa professionals globally. When hair salon owners faced an immediate shortfall in revenue through closures due to COVID-19, Phorest pivoted its business model and created a new voucher platform and e-commerce offering built on AWS to support them through the pandemic. The voucher platform allows end-users to purchase vouchers for use when hair salons reopen, enabling the salons to generate income while their premises remain closed. To date 1,500 salons are using the platform, which has processed over €2 million in vouchers. At the same time, Phorest’s new e-commerce offering enables salons to sell products online, something which they might previously have only done in store. This has helped salons to open up a brand new revenue stream and keep loyal clients buying from their salons during the lockdown. Every salon using Phorest Salon Software can activate the service at no extra cost and can make sales through their own personal page generated by the software.
AWS supports Irish digital health provider to scale to meets demands of pandemic
Wellola is an Irish digital health software firm that provides secure video and patient portal services to healthcare providers. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wellola, built on AWS, has experienced a significant increase in users and is now serving over 600 GPs, allied healthcare providers, charities and Section 38 entities in the UK and Ireland, with secure video consultations, messaging, digital letters, record keeping, and payment facilities integrated directly into clinics’ websites. AWS has supported Wellola with credits and technical assistance to scale quickly and easily to meet the increased demand, while delivering a reliable, secure platform that complies with regulatory standards and data protection legislation in a cost effective way.
Digital platform to help retailers manage social distancing guidelines launched using AWS
Péarlaí is a retail analytics company based in Northern Ireland that works with retailers all over the island of Ireland and Portugal. Péarlaí has used AWS to build and scale a customer booking and crowd management service called ‘Péarlaí Protect’ to help shopping centres and retailers enforce social distancing guidelines when they’re ready to reopen. It offers a queue management solution that enables shoppers to book their preferred time slot to visit their favourite stores, to reduce crowds and giving people peace of mind that they can shop safely. Built entirely on AWS, Péarlaí is offering this innovative solution to help bricks and mortar retailers navigate the phased return to business.
Irish online garden centre uses AWS to cope with surge in demand
TheGardenShop.ie is an Irish online only garden centre. Before the COVID-19 pandemic it had a good e-commerce presence, handling around 200 orders a day. Following restrictions on in-store retail trade, the company’s online orders soared to between 500-800 orders an hour. Increasing packing capacity was essential to meet demand, as was increasing capacity of its server to ensure the website could handle the surge in traffic. The company decided to try using the cloud, and now runs its website on AWS, enabling it to scale up and down quickly, and easily to respond to customers’ needs without any upfront costs or long term commitment, as it only pays for what it uses.
New platform built on AWS to support event and conference organisers
Tito is an independent event-ticketing platform based in Dublin, Ireland. With conferences and events around the globe postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, Tito decided to recalibrate its offering to help its customers to transition events to an online format. The company and built a new platform incorporating live-streaming called Vito, a community-focused platform that can facilitate events and runs entirely on AWS. Vito provides a secure, content-rich online space for organisers and participants to share live-streams and agendas, participate in discussions and even network online. Using AWS, Tito has been able to scale the Vito platform quickly and easily to meet its customers’ needs.
AWS supports app for small businesses to apply for state-guaranteed loans in France
Bpifrance, the French public bank for investment, has been mandated by the government to manage the distribution of State Guaranteed Loans for small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in France during the pandemic. Padok, an AWS Partner, together with the local AWS team in France, supported Bpifrance to set up a platform in just five days for SMEs to apply for financial assistance. Bpifrance normally receives 12,000 credit requests per year via online banking. From mid-March, it was able to process 75,000 requests in just three weeks, with peaks at 8,000 requests daily.
AWS Partner supports initiative to help Spanish communities keep track of COVID-19 cases
Keepler Data Tech, an AWS Partner, has created a public interactive dashboard for the Office of Health of the Community of Madrid that offers a 30-day view and daily estimate of COVID-19 cases, registered by Autonomous Communities in Spain. To ensure the data is reliable, Keepler has developed a machine learning model using AWS, which is updated daily with the latest data. The dashboard helps local authorities to make better healthcare decisions, based on data analysis and predictions on factors such as the number of hospitalizations or intensive care unit admissions in the coming days.
Remote medical monitoring service running on AWS helps hospitals in Spain and South America
To relieve the burden on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 crisis, remote medical monitoring platform HumanITcare is offering its services free of charge to hospitals in Spain and South America. The platform, which is built on AWS, enables healthcare workers to monitor patients with COVID-19 remotely, as well as assisting other chronic patients who are unable to receive care in person.
AWS supports medical consultation platform for people in Spain
Savia, a digital health platform from Spanish insurance company MAPFRE, which offers medical consultations through chat, telephone or video calls, is providing its service at no cost to the general public in Spain during the COVID-19 crisis. Anyone can use the service, which AWS has helped to scale to meet increased demand. From the beginning of the alert period, the platform enabled more than 100,000 online consultations.
Learning platform built on AWS offers content and services to institutions worldwide
Madrid-based Odilo provides intelligent learning platforms that offer unified access to content from thousands of providers around the world. During COVID-19 the company has opened its platform and all the content to any institution that requires it, whether or not they are Odilo clients. The platform, which has more than 140 million users runs on AWS. We are providing Odilo with technical support to help scale its platform in response to increased demand.
Citizens in Spain access real-time advice on COVID-19 through public portal built on AWS
Inbenta, a Spanish company specialized in Artificial Intelligence and semantic search technology, has created a free public portal, built on AWS, which draws on real-time official sources to disseminate COVID-19 information to citizens. The service, available in English, Spanish and Catalan, is being used by various Spanish municipalities to disseminate information about COVID-19 to its citizens.
AWS supports initiative to share reliable information about COVID-19 in countries across Latin America and Africa
#AppsFightCovid is an initiative from software-as-a-service-provider Kayzen, based in Berlin, to share reliable information about COVID-19 in countries where people may be more at risk of receiving misinformation, about the spread of coronavirus and how best to protect themselves. It targets people via their mobile devices with ads featuring content from trusted sources, including the World Health Organization (WHO), explaining how to prevent infection. The ads - in English, Arabic, French, Portuguese, and Spanish - target more than 50 countries in Latin America and Africa. AWS is supporting the initiative with a number of different services to run the website and content delivery system.
We're proud to have partnered with Kayzen to raise over $26,000 for the #AppsFightCovid initiative. 100% of the donations will be spent to reach people in developing countries through in-app ad buys for a WHO video about COVID-19 prevention.— Fyber (@Fyber) May 11, 2020
Details → https://t.co/bSz0E5TtGi pic.twitter.com/UZnmDBA5FD
AWS supports International Organization for Migration efforts to help migrants stay safe during pandemic
We are supplying the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with advanced cloud technologies and technical expertise to accelerate its efforts to help migrants around the world stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis. We are developing a machine learning tool to help the IOM collect and analyse high volumes of COVID-19-related content from around the globe, to provide up-to-date information on border and travel restrictions. We are also helping IOM proactively respond to the increasing volume of requests from migrants for information and help, enhancing a new website by integrating it with a multi-lingual cloud call-centre and chatbot.
AWS helps the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs respond to COVID-19
We are supplying the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) with advanced cloud technologies and technical expertise to accelerate the humanitarian response to the COVID-19 crisis. UN OCHA manages the Humanitarian Data Exchange, which makes essential statistical data openly available to citizens and organisations working to support vulnerable populations during humanitarian crises. It includes vital data sets that are helping inform the humanitarian response to the coronavirus, ranging from those on the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, to testing, travel restrictions and school closures. One challenge faced by UN OCHA is that the humanitarian community shares data in a wide array of formats that are time consuming to gather, clean, and standardize. We are helping UN OCHA develop a service that aggregates trustworthy data from data providers around the world, converts it into standard formats in real time, and makes it available in an open data lake. This will ultimately enable UN OCHA in scaling the use of analytics to respond more effectively to future crises, by making the humanitarian response faster and more data-driven.
AWS enables Comic Relief to take hundreds of donations a second during UK fundraising event
UK-based charities Comic Relief, and BBC Children in Need, worked with broadcaster BBC One to host ‘The Big Night In’ on Thursday 23rd April, to raise money for vulnerable people in the country who are being severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The special night of comedy, music, and live entertainment, was also designed to pay tribute to all the unsung heroes going the extra mile to support their communities. The event was underpinned by Comic Relief’s existing website, donation system, and business analytics, which run on AWS. Using AWS allows Comic Relief to scale up its applications when the number of people making donations rapidly increases, enabling it to transact up to 350 donations per second. Over the course of the three-hour event, more than 700,000 donations were received, raising more than £27.4m – a total the UK government has promised to double. AWS gave Comic Relief credits to cover the cost of additional services used during the event, as well as providing remote technical support.
New global platform to thank healthcare workers built on AWS
Workhuman has launched Thank You Healthcare, a global space for people to thank healthcare workers, and share stories of humanity from around the world during this time of crisis. The application, which was built entirely on AWS in just a few days, aims to give people the opportunity to express their gratitude, while showing healthcare workers just how important they are. More than five million moments of gratitude have already been shared since the application was launched. Workhuman is the world’s fastest-growing social recognition and continuous development management platform, which helps companies to unite their workforce around a shared purpose
Patient monitoring platform running on AWS enables hospitals in UK and US to increase bed capacity
Current Health is enabling hospitals and temporary care facilities in the UK and US to increase bed capacity via its vital signs patient monitoring device and platform, which runs on AWS. Clinicians can continuously monitor patients who are at risk of deteriorating via a single medical device, worn on their arm. The device measures, collects, and transmits vital signs data in real time to a tablet integrated with Current Health’s software, enabling symptom triaging (for example - should the patient be moved to a hospital?) and video consultations with clinicians. Through the monitoring device and software, Current Health can alert doctors and nurses early so that they can take action, potentially saving the patient's life, improving outcomes, and allowing them to return home sooner. The platform is being used in the UK and the US by more than 40 hospitals and care facilities, from NHS Trusts to the Mayo Clinic, and 1,000 care professionals. You can find out more here.
HealthUnlocked builds new online community on AWS to support people in isolation
HealthUnlocked - the world's largest social network for health - has created a new online community to provide peer-to-peer support to people who are self-isolating during the pandemic. The Positive Wellbeing During Self-Isolation community is a space for people, especially more vulnerable senior members of society, to connect with others and find companionship during these times of uncertainty. HealthUnlocked runs entirely on AWS, and uses a wide range of AWS services, such as machine learning to power recommendations on its website.
Our new online community is a space for people to connect with others and find companionship during these times of uncertainty across the globe. https://t.co/ORak7nmpYY#covid19 #coronavirusupdates #coronavirus #UnlockYourHealth #wellbeing #FridayMotivation— HealthUnlocked (@HealthUnlocked) March 20, 2020
Employee wellbeing platform running on AWS offered free to UK businesses during pandemic
To support UK businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tictrac is offering its employee wellbeing solution for free until the end of July. Built on AWS, the Interactive Health Media Platform delivers content on ways to stay mentally and physically healthy, and empower users to take greater control of their wellbeing. The platform is using AWS to scale and grow securely, to meet demand. Tictrac has recently launched a number of new campaigns, which include activity challenges to encourage team-building and improve team spirit when working from home. Since March, more than 16 companies in the UK – ranging in size from 50 to 10,000+ employees – have signed up to the platform.
AWS supports new app to enable rapid, large-scale COVID-19 testing in Portugal
A Portuguese bio-tech start-up, Biosurfit, has developed an app, built on AWS, that can screen the severity of COVID-19 patients’ illness in just eight minutes. Biosurfit’s app, called ‘Triagem Smart’, checks different blood parameters to generate a risk assessment, helping healthcare professionals make more accurate decisions about whether someone needs to self-isolate, be admitted to hospital, or even go directly to an intensive care unit. Triagem Smart will be of particularly vital help in checking the health status of asymptomatic or patients with mild symptoms regularly. More than 2,000 people in Portugal have been already tested in mobile units inside their cars, or in ambulances, and the app is now being used at the Red Cross Hospital in Lisbon and other parts of the country. AWS is enabling Biosurfit to store huge amounts of data in the cloud and analyze it faster and more efficiently. We are also helping the company to scale the app quickly as it expands across Portugal, increasing the number of tests carried out every day.
Italian Clinical Research Platform built on AWS offers scientists working on COVID-19 free access
In Italy, semantic analysis and natural language processing services provider Expert System is opening up its clinical research platform, built on AWS, to help scientists studying COVID-19 to advance their research. The platform aggregates content from trusted sources of scientific information, to provide biomedical researchers with an efficient, one-stop shop where they can discover insights to drive their work. It enables researchers to rapidly identify meaningful information from clinical trials, or published research papers, as well as to find experts around the globe in any therapeutic area.
Expert System is offering free access to the platform to any organization working in global health research for 90 days, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. AWS has supported Expert System to update its technical infrastructure, as well as its database and search index among other things, to allow it to scale to accommodate thousands of new users.
AWS supports researchers in Israel to build COVID-19 heat map tool
In Israel we are supporting group of researchers who have developed a digital tool, using mathematical models, to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in real time. ‘COVID-19 Spread Heat Maps’ is a non-profit initiative designed to help policymakers, healthcare organizations, and the public, monitor outbreak hotspots and to generate heat maps, to help them better understand and respond to specific risks in their community. AWS has provided credits and technical support to help the team build a robust tool that can easily scale to meet high demand.
Crop monitoring platform running on AWS helps to ensure UK food security during pandemic
Mantle Labs, a leading agri-tech startup, is working with the Agri-EPI Centre to offer a cutting-edge crop monitoring solution for UK food security during the coronavirus pandemic. Mantle Labs is offering its unique ‘Geobotanics’ platform, which runs on AWS, to retailers and others involved in the supply chain, free-of-charge, for a period of three months. The AI-based platform mixes imagery from multiple satellites to assess current agricultural conditions and provides early warning of potential supply issues. Running on AWS enables Mantle Labs to scale its platform quickly and easily to analyse very large volumes of high resolution crop satellite imagery across large surface areas. By using AWS, Mantle Labs has been able cut the overall time for processing satellite imagery covering an entire continent from a week to less than a few hours.
Increased consumer demand & potential trade disruptions is a threat to uninterrupted food supply. Find out how @agri_epi members, Mantle Labs & @awscloud cutting-edge #crop monitoring #solution is helping the #UK #foodsecurity during the #COVID19 pandemic: https://t.co/jDDMhptarf pic.twitter.com/sWLEiWrsNm— Agri-EPI Centre (@agri_epi) April 21, 2020
Mental health platform running on AWS gives 1.5 million NHS employees free access to its services in UK
Unmind is a workplace mental health platform which empowers organisations and employees to measurably improve their mental wellbeing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Unmind has opened up the platform, which runs entirely on AWS, to give 1.5 million NHS staff members free access to its clinically backed programmes and support for proactively managing mental health.
Unmind welcomed 25,000 NHS staff in the first two weeks, and is available anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Unmind worked with The Scale Factory, a member of the AWS Partner Network, to optimise the platform using a wide range of AWS services for its mobile and web application. Unmind has been able to scale quickly and easily, build new products, and manage workloads in a secure and flexible way.
UK start-up uses AWS for unique approach to COVID-19 drug discovery
Peptone is a UK-based startup that uses scientific high performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and statistical mathematics techniques to understand, predict and mitigate the reasons behind protein-drug ‘failures’ in the early drug discovery phase. Recently, the company started working with companies who are developing novel protein-based drugs against the novel coronavirus. Peptone uses the AWS Cloud to execute millions of simulations to help identify the most appropriate proteins for successful drug and vaccine development in the fight against COVID-19. The simulations are analysed using artificial intelligence, which builds hypotheses about why and how protein molecules are going to fail. As a result, Peptone’s platform can identify what to do in order to avoid these failures and successfully design molecules which have a high chance to enter clinical trials. The platform reduces the time it usually takes to design so-called ‘human monoclonal antibodies’ - man-made proteins which act like human antibodies in the immune system - from around 1.5 years, to just under 10 days.
Two brothers in Amsterdam create tech solution to source protective equipment for frontline workers
Every day of the COVID-19 crisis has brought news stories on the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers in affected countries. Now, two brothers in Amsterdam, Netherlands, have come up with a simple and innovative idea to locate surplus PPE – including highly sought-after masks and gloves – and redistribute it to people most in need.
With support from AWS, Omar and Rachid Kbiri have built a digital platform, PPENeeded.com, to enable professionals providing ‘non-essential’ services who would normally use PPE in their day-to-day work – such as beauticians, decorators and builders – to donate their masks and other kit to frontline workers. Read more.
AWS partner helps UK councils manage increased calls from residents
In the UK, VoiceFoundry, part of the AWS Partner Network, is using AWS to help local government manage increased call volumes from local residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two London councils, the London Borough of Hounslow and the London Borough of Waltham Forest, are using Amazon Connect - a scalable, easy to manage, cloud-based contact centre – to allow them to operate a full seven-day-a-week service, and to ensure staff safety by enabling them to work remotely. London Borough of Waltham Forest deployed Amazon Connect in a matter of days and is now able to handle calls from more than 3,000 residents and customers a day, while London Borough of Hounslow has launched a Community Support Hub to help the most at-risk and vulnerable residents in the community to receive up-to-date information, food, and essential supplies during the pandemic. The Hub has made and received thousands of calls to date, a number that is continuing to increase each week.
South African biotech company builds platform on AWS to detect mutations in coronavirus
Hyrax Biosciences, a South African company known for its contributions to HIV drug-resistance testing, has released a software tool to detect mutations in the genome of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. Using AWS, it has developed the Exatype SARS-CoV-2 platform, which tracks the evolution of the virus as it spreads, and has been able to reduce the time spent analyzing datasets from days or weeks, to hours or minutes.
South Africa’s GovChat launches COVID-19 educational platform on AWS
To educate citizens on measures to take in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, or quickly find medical help when they fall ill, GovChat, South Africa’s largest citizen engagement platform, launched a COVID-19 application in less than two weeks on AWS. The application provides users with health advice and recommendations on whether to take a test for COVID-19, as well as information on the nearest testing facility, receiving test results, and reporting symptoms.
Mobile game built on AWS helps educate people in Malawi about COVID-19
In Malawi, Digitata Limited has developed a free, mobile-based information portal and game using AWS, to help educate people about COVID-19. Users are given multiple choice questions to help test their knowledge of how it is transmitted, and when to seek medical attention. The game was built in less than five days and now serves more than 2.8 million requests per day.
AWS helps Feedback Medical scale its medical imaging communication platform in UK
Feedback Medical is a specialist medical imaging and technology company that provides an innovative software platform, Bleepa, to improve the sharing and reporting of radiology images. During the COVID-19 crisis, the company is supplying Bleepa to all NHS providers for free. It is already being adopted at sites such as Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in Manchester.
The secure, encrypted imaging-based communication platform combines secure instant messaging with the ability to see clinical grade medical images including X-rays, CT and MRI scans directly from a hospital Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS), using portable devices such as smartphones or tablets. AWS is providing the infrastructure and support to enable Bleepa to quickly, cost effectively, and securely, scale to meet expected demand.
Nye Health uses AWS to scale remote consultation platform to cover more than 10 million patients in UK
Nye Health has built a highly scalable desktop and mobile-based NHS-compliant platform that allows all NHS staff in the UK to offer consultations to patients via video or phone call from any device, anywhere. The service, which is free for all NHS GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, physios, and clerical staff to use, has been designed to help reduce the number of patients attending GP surgeries and hospitals in person and also to enable doctors to work remotely where required. It can also help free up capacity during peak periods, triaging patients so that more urgent cases are prioritised for face-to-face appointments. Nye Health is using AWS to scale quickly, easily, and securely, to meet the increased demand from clinicians and patients during the COVID-19 crisis. The platform currently covers more than 10 million patients and is servicing thousands of patient consultations each week.
Babylon Health uses AWS to help scale and distribute COVID-19 care assistant to relieve burden on NHS in UK
London-based healthcare technology company Babylon has launched a COVID-19 Care Assistant, designed to enhance the support and advice it can offer patients during the pandemic. Patients can use the service to check their symptoms, track their illness, cope with self-isolation, access information, chat with trained staff, and consult doctors. It is already relieving the burden on NHS clinicians by triaging out and supporting the vast majority of users with mild and low-risk COVID-19 symptoms. The company leverages AI on AWS to provide medical advice via a symptom checker for free on the web or via an app, and offers many other AI-driven services including monitoring, health assessment and virtual consultations. Babylon is using AWS to scale and distribute this service globally, supporting patients in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the US, and Canada.
European research initiative uses AWS for crowd-sourcing challenge to fight Covid-19
In Germany, a new research initiative to fight the spread of COVID-19 has been announced by a group led by two scientists from two of the country’s leading research institutions, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). The initiative leverages a newly-built, open-source solution to enable scientists around the world to access, process and analyse real health data images from COVID-19 patients, to create powerful algorithms that will improve future treatment. TUM and LMU, in collaboration with hospitals, clinicians and the industry-in-clinic platform M3i, have built a digital infrastructure that will process radiological datasets, along with clinical metadata, in order to generate high-quality training data for machine learning in a secure way, while protecting data privacy. AWS has provided the initiative with a range of services to help build, scale and run the platform. This includes storage, increased compute power along with consultation services from our AI experts.
Flemish Agency for Care and Health builds COVID-19 ‘Q&A’ bot on AWS
In Belgium, the Flemish Agency for Care and Health has developed and implemented a ‘Q+A’ bot on top of the AWS Cloud, to provide information on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the COVID-19 crisis. The bot - designed for health and care professionals and healthcare organisations in Flanders (the Dutch speaking part of Belgium) - allows users to ask questions in Dutch about all sorts of dos and don’ts around COVID-19, particularly specific regulations and restrictions. For example: “Can I still visit my grandmother in her care home?”, “Can we use our masks several times?”, “How do I protect myself in the best possible way as a care professional?”, and “Can I still go to a funeral?” Using AWS, the agency can easily update the bot with the latest FAQs and guidelines from the government as the crisis evolves.
AWS helps to develop platform to connect healthcare workers in France with range of services
In France, we have provided technical support to Happytal, a French company contributing to improving both the patient experience - mainly through concierge services in hospitals - and the quality of working life for healthcare professionals. AWS has helped Happytal to develop a new web platform called ‘Happyhéros’ specifically for doctors and nurses to use during the crisis. It is designed to make their daily professional and personal lives easier, offering access to a range of services close to their workplace, such as babysitters, grocery shopping, food delivery, and hotels. Happyhéros lists companies that are either offering their services at reduced cost, or for free, during this period, or providing priority access to healthcare professionals and other caregivers. In just two weeks, more than 17,000 people at public hospitals in Paris have already registered on the platform.
#HOPTISOINS accompagne plus de 20 000 personnels hospitaliers ! 🙌— happytal (@happytal_) April 17, 2020
Quelle fierté d'aider l'@APHP à soutenir ces femmes & hommes qui s'investissent sans relâche💟
MERCI à nos partenaires, toujours plus nombreux à rejoindre le mouvement pour faciliter le quotidien de ces héros 🤗 pic.twitter.com/GXpcasJMcH
AWS Partner builds tool to help hospitals in Germany and Spain assess their resource needs
STAT-UP is an AWS partner that has developed a simulation and scenario planning tool called the STAT-UP CoronaCare Dashboard (SUCC-D), using AWS, to help hospitals in Germany and Spain assess their resource needs during the COVID-19 crisis. Hospitals can access the platform for free and use it to plan for additional resource requirements such as beds, intensive care equipment, and personnel. In the medium term, SUCC-D will be expanded for other applications, and may be tailored to individual hospitals’ specific needs – for example to calculate the impact of planned investments. The aim is to create a sustainable tool for regional demand planning for government and local institutions, both during and after the pandemic.
AWS makes critical COVID-19 data publicly available
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has created a public source for critical COVID-19 data to aid ongoing research. The data lake, which compiles datasets from multiple sources, will help healthcare workers, medical researchers, scientists, and public health officials working to understand and fight the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. The data lake includes information from Johns Hopkins University, The New York Times, Definitive Healthcare, and the Allen Institute for AI. AWS will add to this data lake as other reliable sources make their information available. Learn more here.
AWS helps Jameel Institute at Imperial College accelerate COVID-19 disease modelling
In the UK, we are helping the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA) at Imperial College London, to accelerate its COVID-19 disease modelling work. Experts at Imperial College London, including its Jameel Institute, provide public health agencies and governments around the globe with real-time estimates to inform the COVID-19 outbreak response, using a combination of machine learning and data science methods. In order to keep up with the rapid spread of COVID-19, it’s vital for the researchers to investigate data from countries in real time, to understand both its transmission and severity, as well as the impact of different interventions. AWS is helping them to carry out this work even faster, and more efficiently. With our support, the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team can now store more data in the cloud. They can share information and experiment with different methods in ways not previously possible. As the team continues to refine their models, the ultimate goal is to help leaders make better-informed decisions and save more lives.
AWS and Amazon help IRB Barcelona develop tool to speed up search for drugs against COVID-19
In Spain, the Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology Laboratory at IRB Barcelona (Institute for Research in Biomedicine) has collaborated with AWS and Amazon to develop an artificial intelligence computational tool to extract and ‘read’ relevant information from scientific articles on COVID-19 at high speed. The tool, which uses AWS compute and storage services to enable automatic analysis of scientific articles, will allow scientists and researchers around the world to process the huge volume of COVID-19 information (currently more than 10,000 scientific articles and growing exponentially daily), at a rate that would not be possible manually. IRB Barcelona aims to generate an open access ‘drug database’, which includes all the published scientific results related to the treatment of the virus. Through a limited review of the most relevant scientific literature, researchers at IRB Barcelona have currently identified more than 150 compounds that are potentially active against COVID-19. Read more.
AWS provides technical support for mental health platform in Germany to help people cope with impact of COVID-19
In Germany, HelloBetter offers evidence-based online support for people with mental health issues. We are providing technical support through the AWS Partner Network, to help the organisation set up a free hotline for people who are struggling to cope with the impact of COVID-19. It uses Amazon Connect to provide a single unified contact center for voice and chat to all people in need of emergency psychological relief during COVID-19 and beyond. Amazon Connect is AI-enabled by default, allowing agents to immediately use AWS AI services with Amazon Connect, to automate interactions in order to speed up responses and improve customer service quality.
Swiss students use AWS technology to support hospitals in hour of need
In Switzerland, AWS is supporting a group of volunteers with diverse backgrounds in building a digital platform to connect medical professionals, as well as other volunteers, with hospitals and aid organisations. The platform, launched by two medical informatics students from the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, is intended to provide organisations with much-needed support in managing their day-to-day work.
MyClinic365 offers telemedicine platform running on AWS for free to healthcare professionals in Ireland
In Ireland, MyClinic365 is donating its telemedicine platform to doctors and allied healthcare professionals for free during the COVID-19 crisis. The platform runs on AWS and provides services for healthcare professionals and their teams including secure messaging; chatbots to make, and cancel, appointments, and to request repeat prescriptions; as well as video consultations. MyClinic365 plans to introduce voice services using Amazon Alexa and Amazon Connect and is launching a ‘triage bot’ in the next few weeks that will help determine whether a patient needs a COVID-19 test. If they do, the bot will capture the patient’s details and automatically refer them. This will significantly decrease the amount of administrative work that is generated currently within primary care.
AWS enables Bahrain Ministry of Education to scale up remote learning
In Bahrain, the Ministry of Education moved its learning management system EduNet to AWS within one week. It built a scalable infrastructure to accommodate the increasing number of students accessing its education applications remotely. Approximately 150,000 students and 18,000 teachers are currently using the portal. Parents can also access the portal to follow up on the activities carried out by the schools, and school administrators can monitor the progress of students and teachers.
Supporting remoting learning for students in the UAE
In the United Arab Emirates, we are supporting Alef, an education technology company that is offering free access to its digital learning products to students while schools are closed. We are providing a range of services, including increased compute power, to help Alef scale rapidly and take on new users.
AWS provides support for an online education hub in Italy
In Italy, we have been providing support to online education hub bSmart, helping it to rapidly build video interaction capabilities into its virtual classroom application. bSmart is offering this virtual classroom service free to schools across the country during the COVID-19 crisis.
AWS works with Amdocs to provide a technical support hotline for the elderly in Israel
In Israel, we are working with Amdocs, a global software and services provider to the communications and media industry - to provide a technical support hotline for the elderly during the COVID-19 crisis. This hotline has been launched and is staffed by volunteers from Amdocs Israel local employees. Working from their homes, these volunteers provide senior citizens with technical assistance, such as how to install and use video-calling on their phones so they can stay in touch with their families during this time of social distancing. Initially, the hotline is working via volunteers returning calls to people who have left a message, later the hotline will also handle incoming calls. AWS has provided the call center capabilities, using our Amazon Connect virtual call center service. We also provided the funding and technical assistance required to set up and run the service.
Supporting COVID-19 hackathon in Germany with free access to AWS technology and tools
In Germany, we worked with machine learning solutions provider Kineo.ai to offer free access to AWS technology and tools to more than 27,000 people taking part in the #WirVsVirus hackathon, an online initiative to find solutions to the COVID-19 crisis. Initiated by the German government and other organizations, the hackathon produced more than 800 ideas, which will be taken as a starting point to develop collaborative solutions to the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic. Over the hackathon weekend, a group of Amazon employees supported 110 projects as technical mentors.
Community volunteering platform CoronaFriend launches in UK with support from AWS
In the UK, we are supporting a group of tech entrepreneurs who have designed a new service to connect people who’d like to offer help to vulnerable members of their community, to ensure no one is forgotten during the COVID-19 crisis. CoronaFriend is an easy-to-use platform - set up by founders of start-ups Kamma and Would You Rather Be - which enables volunteers to search for their street and find out whether it has already been marked as leafleted. If not, they can print out readymade leaflets, fill in their contact details, and post them around the neighbourhood to check if people living nearby have access to the help they need. Ordnance Survey of Great Britain is providing mapping and location information, while AWS has provided technical support - enabling the platform and accompanying app to be built, tested, and scaled nationally, in just a few days.
Enabling doctors across Europe to continue consultations safely with Care Connect by KRY
Swedish telehealth start-up KRY has launched a secure, reliable and scalable free platform on AWS for healthcare professionals in Europe to conduct video appointments with patients. The new service, Care Connect by KRY is available at no charge to any practicing doctor or healthcare professional in Europe. In France and the UK, where KRY operates as LIVI, the platform is called LIVI Connect. The platform offers a reliable and secure way for doctors to continue their consultations, and for patients to maintain access to vital healthcare services, during the pandemic. Care Connect by KRY is currently available in 10 languages – English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and Polish – and KRY plans to roll it out worldwide. It is one of several services KRY is developing on AWS to support healthcare professionals and patients, including a free symptom checker.
AWS helps NHSX launch COVID-19 response platform for critical public services
We are also helping to provide infrastructure and technology to enable NHSX - a joint unit between the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement - to quickly and securely launch a Covid-19 response platform for critical public services. AWS is providing the underlying infrastructure technology that will enable the NHS to aggregate information from across the NHS and other partner organisations. NHSX are leading this project to provide more accurate visibility on factors including visibility into hospital occupancy levels, emergency room capacity, and patient wait times to inform and coordinate a national response to Covid-19. This information will lead to a better understanding of how the coronavirus is spreading, when and where the healthcare system will face most strain, and which interventions are proving more effective than others in helping to mitigate the crisis - helping the NHS to decide where best to allocate resources.
AWS supports World Health Organization (WHO)
At a global level, we are working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to accelerate the effort to track the virus, understand its outbreak, and to better contain its spread. AWS is supplying WHO with advanced cloud technologies and supporting them with technical expertise. This ranges from building vast "data lakes" aggregating epidemiological country data, to rapidly translating medical training videos into different languages and helping global healthcare workers to better treat patients.
AWS invests $20 million to accelerate diagnostic research, innovation
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.
That’s why we are launching the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative with an initial $20 million investment - a global program to support customers in the US, Europe, and the rest of the world, who are working to bring better, more accurate, diagnostics solutions to market faster, and promote better collaboration across organisations that are working on similar problems. The program will be open to accredited research institutions and private entities that are using AWS to support research-oriented workloads for the development of testing that can be done at home or at a clinic with same-day results. Read more.