International Myeloma Foundation Wins 2022 AWS IMAGINE Grant

The award nets the organization funding, technical support for projects

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by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is one of the nonprofit organizations awarded the 2022 Amazon Web Services (AWS) IMAGINE Grant, which was established to help harness technology for patients’ needs.

IMF was a winner in the Momentum to Modernize category, wherein its efforts to use cloud technology to educate myeloma patients, unlock donor insights, and boost fundraising, among other goals were recognized.

“Today, health data infrastructure and interoperability continue to provide opportunities for patients to access information faster to help educate and inform decision-making – all with the potential for an easier user experience,” Yelak Biru, president and CEO at IMF, and a myeloma patient, said in an IMF press release.

“We’re excited to dive deep with these organizations to help them leverage cloud technology to advance their transformative work that is benefiting communities worldwide,” said Allyson Fryhoff, managing director of nonprofit and nonprofit health at AWS.

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Now in its fifth year, the AWS IMAGINE Grant program supports innovative proposals that use technology to address challenges in local and global communities. The 2022 proposals were assessed based on their innovation and novelty, their impact on mission-critical goals, and on defined outcomes and milestones.

IMF will receive up to $30,000 of unrestricted financial support and up to $10,000 in AWS Computing Credits. The foundation can also count on AWS technical specialist’s guidance for implementing projects.

The IMF is deploying the AWS-powered Data Lake for Nonprofit Cloud,  a web-based workflow launched as a partnership between AWS and to help nonprofits develop a data strategy for their organizations.

By synchronizing Salesforce’s model and AWS’s data repository and combining it with patient and donor data, the IMF can better gain insights and improve decision-making.

The workflow also provides data visualization and analytics tools, including machine learning — a type of artificial intelligence — to build models that can make predictions. Before these newly developed technologies came along, this type of analysis was once done manually, was time-consuming, and could only incorporate a limited amount of information.

“The reason we chose to collaborate with AWS and is to fuel our digital strategy of providing just-in-time support and education wherever myeloma patients are in their journey,” Biru said.

Since the launch of the IMAGINE Grant program in 2018, AWS has supported the technology-driven goals of 66 nonprofit organizations, culminating in more than $6 million in unrestricted funds, among other services.

“At AWS, we are inspired and encouraged by the nonprofit sector’s commitment to address society’s biggest challenges. Each of our IMAGINE Grant winners is taking innovative approaches to scale their mission impact with technology,” Fryhoff said.

Previous winners are using their services to tackle rare disease research, eliminate barriers to food security, improve maternal health outcomes, and other pursuits, AWS noted.