AMAZON will spend $20 million to help speed up the development of at-home and same-day coronavirus testing kits to mitigate the ongoing outbreak.
The investment will go towards the company's Amazon Web Services Diagnostic Development Initiative, a program that will facilitate "diagnostic research, innovation, and development" research of COVID-19 and future infectious diseases.
"The world needs more and more private sector innovation to combat this pandemic," said Steve Davis, co-chair of the World Health Organization's Digital Health Technical Advisory Group.
Davis will spearhead AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative's technical advisory group comprised of top scientists and global health policy experts.
Amazon will work with accredited research groups and private institutions to develop coronavirus test kits that can be done at home or at a clinic with same-day results, the company said Friday in a press release.
Although the coronavirus will be the main focus, the AWS initiative will also expand research to other infections diseases.
The program was created to encourage diagnostics research, which Amazon says has been "historically underfunded" in favor of focusing on vaccines.
Thirty-five global research institutions, startups, and businesses will participate in the program.
Amazon's testing kit research program is the latest of several new initiative it has rolled out to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed at least 205 people and infected more than 14,300 in the US.
The company suspended shipments of all "non-essential items" to its warehouses on Tuesday in order to prioritize medical supplies, household staples, and other high-demand necessities.
On Monday, the online retailer announced it will hire 100,000 workers to keep up with skyrocketing delivery demands as thousands self-isolate and rely on online shopping due to the coronavirus.
Source: Read Full Article