Electronics giant Philips and AWS are teaming up for a medical technology project to make digitalized pathology slides available at scale in the cloud.

The announcement, shared at the HIMSS conference in Orlando, Florida, this week, is an expansion of the company's existing relationship, with Philips having selected AWS as its cloud partner seven years ago.

Philips AI AWS
Philips and AWS have announced an expanded partnership – Philips

The expanded partnership is expected to help pathology labs store and analyze large volumes of data more effectively, with the eventual impact hoped to reduce clinician burnout.

“About 70 percent of every clinical decision that’s made involves a pathologist making a diagnosis,” said Philips chief innovation and strategy officer, Shez Partovi. “Treatment planning can’t happen without pathologists, and sadly, there’s a shortage of pathologists.”

The digitization process will enable pathologists to work remotely and to receive large images in a way that is fast and secure.

“Moving digital pathology to the cloud is a key part of the story because now you can upload the images to the cloud and they just stream directly to wherever you are," Partovi said. This, the companies claim, will reduce the timeline for processing slides from around nine hours to 30 minutes.

Philips and AWS have previously worked together to develop a generative AI tool for HealthSuite, Philip's imaging archive and communications system.

"Healthcare organizations benefit when clinical workflow leadership is combined with scalable cloud infrastructure. By building their cloud-native enterprise pathology solution on services like AWS HealthImaging and Amazon Bedrock, Philips is offering its customers the best of both worlds,” said Tehsin Syed, GM of health AI at AWS.

“Secure cloud-based offerings address the growing demand to store and utilize more data, and by digitizing pathology healthcare leaders can apply AI and ML to drive better insights."

Like many other sectors, healthcare is increasingly looking to the cloud for its IT provision. In Australia, Macquarie Cloud Services and VITG began offering a sovereign cloud for Australia's healthcare industry in September 2023.

Earlier this year, the UK's NHS officially decommissioned its data centers following a migration to the cloud for its NHS Spine system. The cloud provider used was not shared.