AWS’ Latest Accelerator Aims to Give a Boost to Health-Equity Startups
Finding solutions to help the more than 3.6 million Americans who miss or delay their health care appointments each year because they lack transportation is no simple process. In 2016, a Philadelphia-based startup Roundtrip teamed with a group of local health care providers, including nurses, physicians, social workers and transportation providers to examine the process for arranging trips for those in need.
A year later, Roundtrip’s three founders used design-thinking methodology to create their on-demand transportation company. The firm provides nonemergency medical transportation to providers and patients. Roundtrip’s customized online marketplace and digital tools connect patients with the type of rides they need — from ride shares and medical sedans to wheelchair vans and stretcher vehicles.
This year, with support from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Roundtrip will scale in California by launching a pilot with Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) to increase call center efficiency. Together, AWS, CCHS and Roundtrip will design and implement automated Amazon Connect cloud-based contact center infrastructure and incorporate machine learning services such as Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly to make it easier to book rides for vulnerable people who need care.
Roundtrip’s continuing development can be traced in part to AWS’ Health Equity Initiative, a three-year $40 million commitment to help its health care customers develop cloud-based solutions to reduce health disparities.
Now AWS has launched its second health care accelerator to support 10 startups with U.S.-based operations through a four-week technical, business and mentorship program. Applications are due July 1, and the program begins in late August.
The new health care accelerator will consider startups focused on increasing access to health services, reducing disparities by addressing social factors influencing health and using data to promote equitable and inclusive systems of health. Participating startups will be eligible for:
- Up to $25,000 in AWS promotional credits.
- Connections to venture capital firms through AWS’ innovation network.
- Collaboration opportunities with other AWS health care customers and AWS partners.
- Specialized AWS training and mentoring from domain and technical subject matter experts.
- Guidance on business development and fundraising from AWS and accelerator collaborators.
- Go-to-market planners.
Applications are available on the AWS Healthcare Accelerator webpage.