On my current journey to Australia, I met with a handful of startups which are fixing laborious issues in healthcare, like mapping the mind, predicting seizures, and enhancing rehabilitation for aged sufferers. And in all of those instances, cloud applied sciences are serving to to speed up analysis and innovation.
After half a dozen journeys unfold throughout twenty years, huge is the primary phrase that involves thoughts once I consider Australia. From the Nice Barrier Reef to the Blue Mountains, all the way in which to Kakadu Nationwide Park, it’s an immensely biodiverse place. Residence to greater than 1 million plant and animal species, many distinctive. Nevertheless, it’s a rustic that’s outlined as a lot by distance and the areas between, as it’s by pure magnificence. At practically the scale of the continental United States, Australia has lower than 1/tenth the inhabitants — however the inhabitants it does have is likely one of the most numerous on the earth, together with a wealthy mix of indigenous and immigrant cultures. It’s a rustic of great contrasts. And for that cause, it ought to come as no shock that the companies and concepts born in Australia are as numerous because the folks that inhabit it.
For just a few weeks in January and February, I had an opportunity to go to the east coast of Australia, which coincided with our first AWS Area launch of the New 12 months. After a fast go to to Rod Laver Area, the place I witnessed an unbelievable exhibiting from Novak Djokovic in opposition to Stefanos Tsitsipas, I spent most of my time assembly with AWS prospects and Amazonians which are inventing Australia into the longer term. From centuries-old banks and huge telco enterprises, to younger startups doing all the things from good farming to piloting subterranean robots that map water techniques beneath town streets of Melbourne, the cloud helps corporations of all sizes innovate shortly and at scale.
All of it begins with the mind
Australia is residence to a flourishing startup scene. It’s flush with corporations centered on enhancing healthcare outcomes, not just for individuals in Australia, however all over the place on the earth. And all of it begins with the mind.
Earlier this 12 months, once we launched the AWS Asia Pacific (Melbourne) Area, I wrote about Omniscient Neurotechnology (o8t). A company that has built brain mapping software with the potential to revolutionize not only neurosurgery, but the way that we diagnose and treat both neurological and mental health conditions. When I got to Sydney, they were kind enough to sit and chat about their technology stack, and how cloud services, specifically machine learning, allow them to produce personalized brain maps from existing MRIs that not only show how a patient’s brain is shaped, but how each and every connection is clustered. And while I declined a personal brain scan (I’m not quite ready to know everything that’s going on inside my head), I left our conversation feeling hopeful. I remember the days when MRIs were filed in cabinets, and analyzing hundreds of thousands of data points was a pipe dream. This technology truly has the potential to improve our collective understanding of the brain, accelerate research, and most importantly, improve the lives of patients. I first learned of Omniscient from Billion Dollar Napkin, and I’m together with a hyperlink to the episode as a result of it’s completely price watching.
It’s thrilling to see how new applied sciences are getting used to enhance the experience of medical doctors, researchers, and medical professionals. We are able to all agree that extra precision in neurosurgery is an effective factor. Nevertheless, an space that’s usually missed, however equally vital, is creating the instruments that present sufferers with extra management of their remedies.
Seer Medical is a startup centered on enhancing the lives of individuals residing with epilepsy. They’ve created a non-invasive wearable machine that can be utilized at residence to constantly acquire EEG and ECG information from a affected person. The info is saved within the cloud (lots of of TBs), then analyzed to detect coronary heart and brainwave abnormalities, that are used to foretell seizures earlier than they happen. Entry to the sort of data was traditionally restricted to multi-day research that relied on costly gear and required sufferers to remain at a clinic in a single day for commentary. When the examine concluded, so did information assortment. What Seer has developed is a recreation changer for sufferers, in addition to medical doctors and researchers. It provides sufferers autonomy. In the event that they know that some days are larger threat than others they will plan for it and decrease dangers. For medical doctors and researchers it means extra and higher information to check, which can in the future assist them stop epileptic seizures altogether.
In each instances, cloud applied sciences paired with human intelligence are shifting us nearer to a future the place personalised healthcare is the usual, not the exception.
Not everyone studying the brain is focused on healthcare. Melbourne’s Cortical Labs are developing what they call “DishBrain Intelligence”. At the intersection of soft tissue and silicon, they are using stem cells to create the equivalent of a neural network that lives on a lab slide (the “DishBrain”).
So far, they have taught stem cells to play Pong. Just like the neural networks utilized in machine studying, these biologic computer systems depend on reinforcement studying. When an motion is carried out, the community is both rewarded or penalized primarily based on the outcome.
At a high-level, right here’s the way it works. The slide makes use of electrical inputs to see the paddle and ball, and electrical outputs to maneuver the paddle. When the ball makes contact with the paddle, the community is rewarded with a small quantity of centered vitality. When the paddle misses the ball, the community is given a small quantity of random noise. Over time, the stem cells be taught to optimize the community to hit the ball. The irony is just not misplaced on me that we now have spent a long time designing techniques that mimic the human mind, and now we’re seeing neural stem cells utilized in natural computer systems. Joking apart, the research being done by Cortical Labs is intriguing, and reveals that there’s nonetheless quite a bit that we now have to be taught. Within the close to future, they are going to be trying into the impacts of drugs and alcohol on their organic computer systems — it will likely be fascinating to see what they uncover.
Wholesome physique, wholesome thoughts… and a little bit of aggressive benefit
Shifting from the lab to the realm of on a regular basis actions, there are Australian startups doing fascinating work on the crossroads of well being and sport. Firms like VueMotion, who’re utilizing pc imaginative and prescient to develop machine studying fashions that may observe kinetic and kinematic information for athletes — all the things from joint angles and gait evaluation, to the affect power of a foot strike or a tough minimize on the soccer pitch.
Much like how Omniscient are constructing personalised mind maps, VueMotion are creating personalised physique fashions. They confirmed me a demo of a runner whose stride lengths diverse from left to proper foot with an overlay of kinematic information. With the sort of data, trainers and coaches can shortly achieve an understanding of how somebody strikes in a pure atmosphere, make changes, then observe how their actions change over time — each progressions and regressions — all utilizing video captured from a smartphone.
What VueMotion has constructed has actual potential to forestall accidents and enhance efficiency for athletes in any respect ranges. It’s the kind of innovation I alluded to in this year’s predictions. But the implications are much bigger than sport. VueMotion believes that their technology can also improve elder care and rehabilitation. Giving doctors and physical therapists the tools and data they need to draw insights, create patient specific plans, and track progress over time. It’s yet another example of technology augmenting expertise in healthcare.
Last, but certainly not least, are Bolt6. I met with them at the Australian Open, where they were running a proof of concept for player, racket, and ball tracking — processed and analyzed in the cloud (no server racks required). I first noticed how prevalent technology had become in tennis watching the US Open last summer. All the line judges had been gone. Only a chair umpire and the ball crew. A product of the pandemic, however probably an indication of issues to return. This realization left me with extra questions than solutions. How correct had been the road calls? Would this variation the notion of equity for gamers and followers? Would it not pace up matches, and if sure, how would it not affect participant fatigue and incidence of damage?
The expertise Bolt6 has developed to make line calls may be very correct. With an error tolerance of three millimeters, it gives extra precision than the typical line decide. And it’s constant — a digicam isn’t going to alter a name when a participant yells or smashes a racket.
With X, Y, Z monitoring, Bolt6 can do way more than make a line name or measure gait, they will do issues like decide how shut a participant is to a ball and the way they’re shaping as much as make a success, even assess fatigue in real-time. And their innovation doesn’t cease with tennis. Bolt6 can also be offering the expertise that permits NASCAR to trace every automobile on a observe with 300 millisecond supply, no matter the place on the earth a race is going down. What they’ve constructed opens up a close to infinite variety of analytics that may enhance coaching and technique for all sports activities, and improve broadcasts for followers.
As I stated on the finish of final 12 months, the sports activities world is at present on the verge of the most important revolution it has ever seen, and cloud applied sciences are on the heart of this variation.
I’m frequently requested questions on how issues work at Amazon. How we do issues. What drives innovation. All the pieces from writing docs to successfully managing giant engineering groups constructing distributed techniques. I can share processes, I can talk about tradition, however what makes Amazon work is the Amazonians. With out them, what you’ve examine on this submit wouldn’t be doable.
As huge and numerous as Australia is likely to be, there was a typical theme shared by the businesses, entrepreneurs, and engineers I met with: a ardour to unravel laborious human issues. As I mirror on this journey, it’s actually inspiring to see how cloud applied sciences are being harnessed to enhance healthcare outcomes. Now, as at all times, go construct!