Genetic Alliance Selected for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Health Equity Program

iHope Genetic Health name in yellow script
Samuel Wiafe, Founder/Executive Director, Rare Disease Ghana Initiative

“iHope that every patient living with a rare disease gets access to diagnosis in time.” Samuel Wiafe, Founder/Executive Director, Rare Disease Ghana Initiative

Genetic Alliance will receive computing credits and technical expertise from Amazon Web Services for iHope Genetic Health

Through this program, we look forward to helping Genetic Alliance, their partner Luna, and other organizations worldwide use AWS to advance health equity and improve health outcomes.”

— Maggie Carter, Global Lead, Social Impact at AWS

DAMASCUS, MARYLAND, USA, March 25, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Genetic Alliance today announced that it has been selected for a new global program from Amazon Web Services (AWS), supporting organizations that are developing solutions to advance health equity.

Through the program, AWS offers AWS Promotional Credits and customized technical expertise to selected organizations around the world that want to use AWS services to improve health outcomes and health equity in any of the following areas: 1) increasing access to health services for underserved communities; 2) addressing social determinants of health; and 3) leveraging data to promote more equitable and inclusive systems of care.

The support from AWS will advance Genetic Alliance’s iHope Genetic Health (iGH) program.

iGH will provide clinical whole genome sequencing (cWGS) diagnostic services to the undiagnosed in low to middle income countries. In-country, sustainable solutions for communities with little to no access to genomic care will transform the offering and uptake of genomic technologies, services, and therapy development and delivery in resource-limited areas. The iHope Genetic Health program, made possible by a $120M contribution of reagents and sequencers from Illumina, will also provide resources to patients, clinicians, and laboratories to accelerate diagnoses and enable follow-up.

A novel and critical part of the program is the requirement that the data generated be given to the individuals and their families. The platform for these and other clinical data will be LunaDNA. Luna provides the processes and mechanisms for individuals to control their own data and grant access to their data for research that matters to them. Luna also enables community engagement, recognizing that the health needs and situations of individuals and families changes over time. Luna will use AWS to support data storage and computational analyses.

“While the cost of genome sequencing has dropped precipitously over the past decade, it remains cost-prohibitive for many. I applaud Genetic Alliance for launching this important initiative to improve access to this life-changing technology. Access to medicine should always be a right, not a privilege,” said Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., National Institutes of Health Director at the time the program was announced in November 2021.

“AWS believes individual health outcomes should not depend on socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or neighborhood, “said Maggie Carter, Global Lead, Social Impact at AWS. “Cloud technology can help address the inequities in global health that have been amplified by the pandemic. Through this program, we look forward to helping Genetic Alliance, their partner Luna, and other organizations worldwide use AWS to advance health equity and improve health outcomes.”

Genetic Alliance has released a request for information (RFI), due April 1, to inform the development of the program. Download the RFI here.

To learn more about the AWS program, visit https://aws.amazon.com/health/health-equity.

To learn more about iHope Genetic Health, visit https://www.ihopegenetichealth.org. Donations are needed to support patients, clinicians, and labs. Please help.

To learn more about LunaPBC, visit https://www.lunadna.com.

About Genetic Alliance

Genetic Alliance is a 501 (c) (3) that engages individuals, families, and communities to transform health. For more than three decades, we have empowered advocacy organizations and other communities to collaborate with clinical, policy, service, research, and other health institutions at the international, national, state, and local levels. Genetic Alliance has earned the trust of diverse stakeholders. As such, our convening of, and activities with, multidisciplinary entities result in novel, relevant, and effective solutions. Genetic Alliance builds and liberates capacity in networks, thus enabling each entity to leverage the others’ learnings, resources, and tools.

Our work has been strongly influenced and deeply embedded in activism – we have roots in radical advocacy, the early AIDs movement, and justice activism. We have a long history in genetics, having been founded before the Human Genome Project was conceived. We have participated in and led hundreds of projects and programs in genetics and genomics, including as co-founders of the National Academies of Medicine Board on Health Science Policy and Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health, Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, International Rare Disease Research Consortium, the Personalized Medicine Coalition, the Coalition for 21st Century Medicine, Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, and the Cancer Moonshot. We led the coalition that enabled the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to be enacted as US federal law. In all of this, we have always held dearly the health of all, particularly those in underserved and resource-limited communities, as our guiding light.

Sharon Terry
Genetic Alliance
+1 202-966-5557
email us here
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Stephen Damiani, Father of Massimo Damiani


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