Technology

Heart Association Boosts Big Data Game, With Amazon's Help

By / Jul 13, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

The American Heart Association announced this week that Amazon Web Services would help the group expand its Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine, which hopes to use big data to find the root causes of heart disease.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has been upping its tech game of late, scoring headline-making deals that analysts might more likely expect from a Silicon Valley startup than an association.

The latest one? AHA will be jumping onto Amazon’s cloud. This week, the association announced a plan to team with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the technology arm of the online retailer, as AHA builds out its Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine. The institute is intended to research and highlight new innovations in heart health, with the goal of utilizing big data to help identify and quantify potential risk factors.

AHA CEO Nancy Brown emphasized that the deal with Amazon would help improve cardiovascular research.

“The promise of precision cardiovascular medicine and care can be realized when research and technology come together to deliver new insights,” Brown said in a statement. “The AHA and AWS collaboration will unite the global research community to accelerate discovery in cardiovascular health and usher in a new era of tailored prevention and treatment that will help patients and lessen the global burden of cardiovascular disease.”

Among AHA’s plans for this new partnership is the Data Grant Portfolio. The endeavor, which will award 14 grants and fellowships to data-analysis and data-mining projects over the next year. Helping to fund the efforts are credits from AWS to help run big data projects on the company’s wide array of servers.

Teresa Carlson, AWS’ vice president for worldwide public sector, emphasized that the company was well-suited to the task.

“AWS is uniquely positioned to provide scalable, cost-efficient solutions for the scientific community, while delivering the industry-shaping technology and high-performance computing necessary to facilitate the most demanding research projects,” Carlson said in a statement. “We’re honored to be the AHA’s collaborator on this incredibly important endeavor to improve cardiovascular health worldwide.”

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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