Latest collaboration aims on building health research startups to advance healthcare

Latest collaboration aims on building health research startups to advance healthcare​

December 5, 2022 : The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill revealed a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create an environment for start-up creation that uses cloud technology to decode UNC-Chapel Hill’s digital health research skills into commercialized solutions.

The collaboration will fund 25 projects over three years to create, funding, and build 10 thriving start-up companies based out of UNC-Chapel Hill. The emphasis is software-forward digital technologies to advance health and fitness, enhance patient and provider understanding, and improve healthcare access across five regions:

  • Enterprise Systems & Help: platforms for healthcare systems, hospitals, and other enterprise environments
  • Clinician Services & Aid: platforms primarily for clinicians and clinical support team
  • Patient-Facing Health & Support: products that capture, store, or transmit clinical data to guide care
  • Patient-Facing Diagnostic & Observing: products used to diagnose, direct diagnosis of, or monitor patients
  • Patient-Facing Therapeutic Interventions: effects that deliver medical interventions and therapies

Via the collaboration, faculty from UNC-Chapel Hill’s health research labs use a cloud-native “software factory” to build services into production-ready formats that run on AWS. With assistance like Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Rekognition, secure settings, data solutions, and other artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) managed benefits; researchers develop creative healthcare technologies that can be validated and commercialized through University-born start-ups.

Selected projects are qualified to receive AWS Computing Credits and cooperate with AWS solutions architects and specialists across fields like cybersecurity, biomedical research, high-performance computing, and machine learning for health informatics. AWS engineers deliver an architectural approach that contains multiple channels equipped with tools, process workflows, scripts, and surroundings to produce software and infrastructure solutions that are mobile, extensible, and secure by design; especially via the utilization of software containerization and microservices. This allows protect UNC Chapel-Hill’s intellectual possessions, extend research into the market, and grows research-driven impacts through high-quality, rapidly-deployed software.

“Many of our researchers are designing transformative AI/ML algorithms that can assist advance precision medicine and digital therapeutics,” sounded Eshelman Institute for Innovation’s Bob Dieterle, managing director of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Digital Health Venture Studio. “With this method, researchers can send algorithms into a reusable container, snap together a mobile app front end along with a secured backend database, and deploy directly to registered patients in their examinations.”

Eight of the 25 planned projects have newly kicked off to manage essential needs. One example is leveraging advanced AI technology to help product safety and quality assurance. Contamination problems with compounded medicines can lead to severe disease or death. To address this, researchers from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy are utilizing Amazon Rekognition to create a computer vision solution based on the aseptic technique (a collection of rules to minimize the risk of infection). With this cloud-based AI technology, investigators can monitor movements during the clean compounding process, compare the activities against selected best practices, and generate reports that indicate violations of technique and steps to resolve. This technology can be utilized for training, ongoing competency estimates, and regulatory documentation.