Amazon is serious about Healthcare in 2019

Amazon is Showing Healthcare is the Next Big Thing for Machine Learning

Amazon will save Healthcare industry $Billions via machine learning algo that extracts key data from patient records — it’s an EMR revolution by AI.

Amazon has had a health innovation stealth unit called 1492 for quite some time. We’re slowly starting to understand how sweeping its changes are going to be.

Recently we learned how Amazon will reportedly sell software that reads medical records. With ballooning healthcare costs anticipated in the next two decades globally, AI at the services of healthcare will be extremely important. It appears Amazon’s newest service uses machine learning to extract medical data from patient records.

The Age of Machine Learning Healthcare is Coming

The implications here are massive:

  • Amazon Comprehend Medical, which involves analyzing medical data could revolutionize patient diagnosis.
  • Machine learning at the intersection of EMR (electronic medical records) could help predict outcomes to save costs.
  • Amazon announced the service on November 27th, 2018.

Eventually it’s rather likely Prime members would opt-in to Amazon having access to their health data and patient records, which could be a win-win for both parties.

As Tencent scales to the enterprise sector and eventually the Cloud itself, it has massive potential to intersect with Healthcare as well, where Google and Apple will also contribute. Tech corporations at the service of healthcare will be a major story in the future of technology in the 2020s.

  • The program scans medical files to pick out relevant information such as the medical condition and patient’s procedures and prescriptions.
  • Amazon claims to have trained its system to recognize the idiosyncrasies in how doctors take notes.
  • For Amazon, this is another move into the health care market on the heels of the retailer buying the online pharmacy PillPack in June.
Amazon as a consumer facing company is uniquely positioned to be at the intersection of pharma and biotech with the consumer. You cannot underestimate Amazon’s relationship with consumer convenience here.
  • Machine learning at the intersection of niche healthcare is one of the hottest VC sectors circa 2019, and Amazon it appears already has a head-start. Google’s DeepMind Health is well documented, and very impressive. Apple’s Apple Watch shows consistent improvements related to healthcare analysis, but Amazon already owns the smart home sector for consumers, and we know the future of healthcare monitoring starts at home as EMRs become better at data harvesting for well-being. Early diagnosis really is the key in most health outcomes.

Will Artificial Intelligence Become the Custodian of our Care?

One day AI will be in care of our well-being, both physical, psychological and even socio-emotionally. Now this isn’t hard to imagine how we get to point A to point B.

The cloud software combines text analysis and machine learning to read patient records that often consist of prescriptions, notes, audio interviews, and test reports. Once those records are digitized and uploaded to Comprehend Medical, it picks out and organizes information about diagnoses, treatments, medication dosage, and symptoms. (TechCrunch)

This isn’t just good for our health though, this is the start of a massive automation of healthcare jobs that will take place. Think about it? Amazon said “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.” These will impact not just nurses, and medical admin but white-collar jobs. However, the benefits do outweigh the costs, and Amazon figures to be a big player as the Cloud is everything.

Amazon’s greatest achievements as a company are likely to come in healthcare. The fact that is started as a retail E-commerce or Cloud player will be but footnotes in history, that’s the future I see for Amazon and technology companies. Healthcare is even more resistant to change than retail, and technology companies have the most potential to disrupt and augment the industry’s complicated systems. If data is the new oil, our health data is one of the most valuable subsets of a world of dataflow.

Since Amazon will also develop an app that’s embedded in electronic medical records and provides doctors direct links to products to market to patients, this could be a significant B2B cash-cow as well, where Amazon facilitates and disrupts the supply chain of medical technology and supplies, and not just pharma and Biotech for the consumer.

Amazon disrupting EMR is ultimately the first step in how machine learning complements and augments healthcare processes. Thus begins the first step towards an automation of our well-being, where AI becomes increasingly implicated in decision making and predictive analytics for Doctors, Nurses and the medical system.

  • ACM is a HIPAA-eligible machine learning service that allows developers to process unstructured medical text and identify information such as patient diagnosis, treatments, dosages, symptoms and signs, and more.
  • We knew Amazon 1492 was involved with areas of exploration that include a platform for electronic medical record data, telemedicine and health apps for existing devices like the Amazon Echo. Now we get how ACM will be launched.
  • ACM interestingly will also result in less medical burn-out, a significant problem as the demand for Doctors and Nurses might get pinched with the greater burden on the healthcare system in the next two decades globally with aging populations. This sort of tech does not come soon enough.

So with ACM essentially we are talking about improving medical language processing with machine learning. Augmenting Doctors with AI, essentially should lead to better patient outcomes. However this is bigger than just an advance in electronic medical records, it’s a realization of the central place AI will play in the future of medicine, healthcare and healthcare administration.

Technically, Amazon Comprehend Medical (ACM) allows developers to identify the key common types of medical information automatically, with high accuracy, and without the need for large numbers of custom rules.

  • Comprehend Medical can identify medical conditions, anatomic terms, medications, details of medical tests, treatments and procedures.
  • This will organically lead to helping consumers with managing their own health, including medication management, proactively scheduling care visits, or empowering them to make informed decisions about their health and eligibility.

This will lead to an era of patient-centric care augmented by machine learning that will be quite significant to help on-board an era of Biotechology and personalization of healthcare. Remember, this is just one of the solutions offered by Amazon 1492, more to come.