GenAI to boost drug discovery and healthcare in India: AWS executive

GenAI to boost drug discovery and healthcare in India: AWS executive
The Director and Chief Medical Officer of International Public Sector Health at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Dr. Rowland Illing, has expressed that Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds the potential to revolutionize drug discovery and healthcare delivery in countries like India. He highlighted the presence of top-level medical experts in India with the necessary experience in this cutting-edge technology. Dr. Illing mentioned AWS's commitment to supporting the Indian Government and the Union Health Ministry in developing next-generation healthcare solutions for the population, expressing delight in contributing to these advancements.
"There is an incredible opportunity because India is such a great technology-based country with some real experts at great health-tech companies. We have a great team working in India with the Indian Government and at the state level. GenAI with Cloud has the true potential to transform the healthcare industry in India", Dr. Illing said on the sidelines of the AWS re: Invent conference in the US last week. The COVID-19 pandemic saw the rapid emergence of AI and Machine Learning (ML) in providing timely and quality healthcare for millions. Healthtech startup created a niche with advanced technology that reads and interprets medical images like X-rays, CTs, and ultrasounds in less than a minute, making equitable and high-quality healthcare a reality across the globe.
"They have built some amazing diagnostic AI tools like the one for chest X-rays looking at detecting tuberculosis (TB). Users can upload X-ray imaging into the Cloud, have it analyzed and the local healthcare provider can then either start treatment or may not need treatment based upon the AI output", said Dr. Illing. According to him, this is all about the democratization of GenAI and India is a great place for this as there is "a great ambition within the government to accelerate healthcare and to democratize access by using Cloud which is the only way to scale".
In September, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon's cloud division, revealed that the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) had selected it as the preferred cloud provider to expedite its genome sequencing research initiatives. The CCMB conducted short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping analysis on 3,200 samples from the '1000 Genomes Project,' an international research endeavor aiming to create an exhaustive catalog of human genetic variation, as part of its research projects.
Leveraging services like Amazon Aurora, Amazon EC2, EC2 Auto Scaling, Amazon S3, and AWS Batch, CCMB successfully slashed the time required for research analysis by an impressive 98%, reducing it from 550 days to an average of just nine days. In a separate initiative, CCMB has initiated the examination of breast cancer samples to pinpoint molecular signatures specific to triple-negative breast cancers prevalent in the Indian population. Through the application of CPU and GPU-accelerated computing on AWS, CCMB achieved a significant reduction in the analysis time per sample, ranging from 50 to 70%.
Dr Illing said that genomics is the biggest healthcare use case for the Cloud at the moment because organizations that use genomics or genetics cannot manage the kind of infrastructure required to store and compute on massive datasets. "CCMB started its genome sequencing research on AWS just now and that has been a great partnership. India will be one of the powerhouses of genomics as a result", he added. "Generative AI will be an accelerator to global healthcare. Using AWS Cloud, the companies can build highly controlled and secure solutions, especially in India", said Dr Illing.
Source: IANS