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stackArmor’s ThreatAlert ATO Accelerator Supports NIH AIM-AHEAD Program

Solution enables underrepresented communities greater access to AI/ML research capabilities

stackArmor, a leading provider of cloud, security and compliance acceleration solutions for meeting FedRAMP, FISMA and CMMC 2.0, announced it has been supporting Dr. Paul Avillach, one of the Multiple Principal Investigators of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity (AIM-AHEAD) program.

“My Research laboratory has been working with stackArmor because we really liked their approach of delivering a highly extensible, secure and cost-effective solution to enable data security meeting FISMA ATO requirements”

The AIM-AHEAD program mission is to enhance the participation of underrepresented communities in the development of AI/ML models. The program improves the capabilities of this emerging technology, beginning with electronic health records (EHR) and extending to other diverse data to address health disparities and inequities. A lack of diversity of data and researchers in the AI/ML field runs the risk of creating and perpetuating harmful biases in its practice, algorithms and outcomes.

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“We have been privileged to support Dr. Avillach’s vision to reduce the cost and complexity of using cloud computing for healthcare research, while also meeting strict government cybersecurity requirements,” said Gaurav “GP” Pal, CEO of stackArmor. “As AI drives today’s most advanced medical research, we applaud the government for prioritizing health equity and are proud to support programs like AIM-AHEAD, which are vital in ensuring all researchers can easily access and understand the AI-enabled technology they’re using.”

Dr. Paul Avillach, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of biomedical informatics, developed an open-source solution with Amazon Web Services – Service Workbench on AWS – enabled by stackArmor ThreatAlert® ATO Accelerator. A key infrastructure of the program, the AIM-AHEAD Service Workbench, is a FISMA Moderate ATO (Authority to Operate)-compliant self-service AI platform.

Many underrepresented and underserved communities have the potential to contribute valuable medical research, but often lack financial, infrastructural and data science training capacity to apply AI/ML approaches to research questions of interest to them.

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Using AIM-AHEAD Service Workbench, researchers can rapidly access and conduct research projects using an AI-enabled, internet-accessible, simple web application. This empowers researchers to easily deploy and access any cloud workspace from a custom catalog of pre-configured and extendible workspaces, such as R, Jupyter Notebooks, Python and more. Additionally, researchers can easily leverage advanced AI services like Amazon SageMaker.

stackArmor’s ThreatAlert® ATO Accelerator enabled the workbench solution by providing an ATO-ready landing zone with NIST SP 800-53 compliant security services to meet specific NIH and Federal cybersecurity requirements. AIM-AHEAD Service Workbench is a fully managed platform that includes rigorous continuous monitoring with time-bound execution of critical security operations, incident response and compliance reporting.

stackArmor’s continuous monitoring team handled the heavy lifting of vulnerability scanning, remediation, patching and cloud operations management, including FinOps. All of these support services helped ensure researchers have access to ready-to use data and computing services without the hindrance of having to worry about security and compliance overhead.

“My Research laboratory has been working with stackArmor because we really liked their approach of delivering a highly extensible, secure and cost-effective solution to enable data security meeting FISMA ATO requirements,” said Dr. Avillach.

The White House issued Executive Order 14110 on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence in October 2023 to help spur the adoption of secure and safe AI solutions. EO 14110 placed special emphasis on enabling responsible AI innovation in the healthcare sector, by accelerating grants awarded through the NIH AIM-AHEAD program and showcasing current AIM-AHEAD activities in underserved communities.

The AIM-AHEAD coordinating center is supported by an OTA (OT2OD032581) to University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

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