• Oscar Rodriguez

The “AWS Healthcare and Life Sciences Cloud Symposium, April 24-25" was a Blast!

Report from the Front Lines: The main purpose of this conference was to share info on how to better understand and improve patient care with AWS cloud technology.

I had a great time attending this conference and networking with thought leaders. In the first day, large companies like Bayer, Novartis, Pfizer, Novo Nordisk, Bayer AG, Merck, etc. shared how they are leveraging AI/ML and AWS to drive better patient care outcomes; whereas the second day was dedicated to startup companies sharing their experiences using cloud & AI/ML to drive cost-effective business and innovation. The full conference agenda can be located at:

What were the Key Highlights?
  1. 500+ attendees across large enterprise companies, innovative startups and AWS.

  2. The adoption of AI/ML is cutting-edge and rapidly disrupting Life Sciences, Healthcare and Genomics industries. For example, Decibel Therapeutics company (Decibel Therapeutics, Inc. discovers and develops therapies to protect, repair, and restore hearing) is using proprietary supervised learning algorithms to predict susceptibility to hearing loss. Another example is Bigengine company, who has developed ML models to predict machine failures in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.

  3. There are approximately 1000+ startups in Life Sciences and Healthcare. Interestingly, some of them are using AWS and AI/Robots to scale their services. (e.g., Ginko Bioworks, with 200+ people and 100+ robots).

  4. Simplifying the experience for consumers and patients (Digital Front Door), and Software as a treatment (Digital Therapeutics) are "hot" trends that are growing exponentially.

  5. Patient experience is a huge opportunity to differentiate between companies in the same field. However, it is also important to understand the Physician mindset when developing solutions for patients.

  6. A lot of companies (regardless of their size) are seeking partners such as Investors, Health Systems, Research Institutes, Consumers, Government, Alliances, Data Partners, etc.

  7. Some of the most common AWS services used across Life Sciences and Healthcare implementations include but are not limited to: AWS Biotech Blueprint, AWS S3, AWS Redshift, AWS EMR, AWS Lake Formation, AWS Pinpoint, AWS Batch, AWS Sagemaker, Alexa healthcare, etc.

  8. AWS has a well-defined set of services across the value chain for Life Sciences, Genomics and Healthcare as illustrated below.

Main Takeaways

1. Data, Analytics and AI/ML best practices and technology standards, including consistency in terminology and reference architectures, must and will likely be, the next frontier in Life Sciences and Healthcare.

2. Disruption in Healthcare and Life Sciences is in rapid growth mode and desperate for qualified subject matter experts in various high-demand technologies, including Digital Health, AI/ML, AR/VR, Cybersecurity, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data.

3. The collection, organization, protection, compliance and dissemination of data is both an issue, and an opportunity, in all fields. Data will continue to be the main asset to drive AI/ML adoption at scale.

4. As part of a solid Digital and AI/ML enterprise strategy, companies must have a unified and scalable data platform that allows them to accommodate their specific-industry needs and continuous data challenges such as variety and volume.

Recommendations for future AWS symposiums

1. Add a technology track in addition to Life Sciences and Healthcare tracks

2. Organize a technology Hackathon using industry use cases to promote cross-functional cooperation across attendees (business and technical)

3. Show live demos of industry-specific innovate solutions that help attendees to see tangible business benefits

4. Organize rapid interactive workshops where participants can discuss specific complex business case studies and learn from each other


I encourage others to go out and participate in future events like this. The more you know what’s going on in the field, the better you can add value to your company regardless of your role. Also, there is no doubt that collaboration and partnership will continue to be a key factor in the success of your Digital Transformation journey. The more partners that you have in this field, the better.


This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer.

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