Amazon mine patient records and diagnose

Amazon’s new project to mine patient records and help diagnose diseases more accurately

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Working with healthcare partners, Amazon has a growing interest in health care areas like medical records and drug supply chain.

Amazon, an American and cloud computing company has confirmed that it has launched a project to mine data from electronic medical records, as the company pushes deeper into the health-care market.

The project introduced by electronic commerce giant is dubbed as Amazon Comprehend Medical, which, according to a blog, “allows developers to process unstructured medical text and identify information such as patient diagnosis, treatments, dosages, symptoms and signs, and more”.

The announcement follows a report in that Amazon had spent several years working on an effort, internally dubbed Hera, to make better use of digitized medical data, capturing information that a physician may miss and helping remove inaccuracies. At that time, Amazon was targeting insurance companies as potential customers, pitching them on a product that could fill in gaps in data when doctors neglect to fully document a patient’s medical visit.

Simplifying patient information extraction

Amazon, in the blog post, stated, “The majority of health and patient data is stored today as unstructured medical text, such as medical notes, prescriptions, audio interview transcripts, and pathology and radiology reports.” Moreover, “Identifying this information today is a manual and time-consuming process, which either requires data entry by high skilled medical experts, or teams of developers writing custom code and rules to try and extract the information automatically.”

The software served better outcomes

Taha Kass-Hout, the company’s senior leader in health care and artificial intelligence, said – internal tests showed that the software performed as good or better than other published efforts to extract data on patients’ medical conditions, lab orders, and procedures.

Amazon is collaborating with healthcare giants

The company has also confirmed to be collaborating with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington to apply machine learning to its data sets in a bid to prevent and cure cancers. Amazon told it is working with the health center to evaluate “millions of clinical notes to extract and index medical conditions,” and it pointed to other pharmaceutical giant partners.

In competition with Apple and Alphabet

Amazon is most directly taking on UnitedHealth Group’s Optum, which is already in the space, as well as technology rivals Apple and Alphabet. As Google is working with local health systems, notably the University of California, San Francisco, to get valuable information from medical records and better predict when a patient is likely to get sick. As well as, Apple is teaming with hospitals and clinics to provide patients with access to their medical information on an iPhone. Amazon said the reason it got into this space is to help speed up the process of making sense of health data, which isn’t usually stored in ways that computers can understand and analyze.



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