Amazon launches Machine Learning-based platform for healthcare space

Amazon’s Comprehend Medical platform uses a new HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) – eligible machine learning service to process unstructured medical text and information such as dosages, symptoms and signs, and patient diagnosis.

AWS announced that Amazon TranslateAmazon Comprehend, and Amazon Transcribe are now U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) eligible services. This announcement adds to the number of AWS artificial intelligence services that are already HIPAA eligible– Amazon PollyAmazon SageMaker, and Amazon Rekognition. By using these services, AWS customers in the healthcare industry can leverage data insights to deliver better outcomes for providers and patients using the power of machine learning (ML).

The article by Kul Bhushan was published in the Hindustan Times on November 28, 2018.

With an objective to push deeper into the health space, Amazon has introduced a new Machine Learning (ML) software to analyse medical records for better treatments of patients and reduce overall expenditure.

Unveiled at the company’s re:Invent cloud conference in Las Vegas, Amazon’s Comprehend Medical platform uses a new “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.

“Comprehend Medical helps health care providers, insurers, researchers, and clinical trial investigators as well as health care IT, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies to improve clinical decision support, streamline revenue cycle and clinical trials management, and better address data privacy and protected health information (PHI) requirements,” explains the company on its website.

Amazon aims to mitigate the time spent on manually analysing medical data of a patient. The company hopes the software will ultimately empower users to make a more informed decision about their health and even things like scheduling care visits.

“Unlocking this information from medical language makes a variety of common medical use cases easier and cost-effective, including: clinical decision support (e.g., getting a historical snapshot of a patient’s medical history), revenue cycle management (e.g., simplifying the time-intensive manual process of data entry), clinical trial management (e.g., by identifying and recruiting patients with certain attributes into clinical trials), building population health platforms, and helping address (PHI) requirements (e.g., for privacy and security assurance.),” the company added.

Amazon also pointed out that some of the medical institutes such as Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Roche Diagnostics have already implemented the software. Amazon’s expansion into the healthcare space comes after it acquired health-focused startup PillPack for $1 billion earlier this year. Apart from Amazon, other technology companies like Apple and Microsoft are investing into the healthcare space.

Apple is already offering HealthKit and CareKit platforms to develop apps focused on health. The company earlier this year launched Apple Watch Series 4 with ECG support. Microsoft, however, has deeper footprints in the health segment. The company is building a bunch of Artificial Intelligence-based tools for healthcare. For instance, Microsoft’s Project InnerEye uses machine learning technology to build tools for automatic, quantitative analysis of three-dimensional radiological images.

According to various reports, Artificial Intelligence is going to make a big impact in the healthcare industry. An Accenture report in 2017 predicted that the AI apps can create $150 billion in annual savings for the United States alone.

Back in India, the adoption of AI in healthcare is growing. According to a report by the Centre for Internet and Society India, “the use of AI in healthcare in India is increasing with new startups and large ICT companies offering AI solutions for healthcare challenges in the country.”

Bengalure-based startup mfine has developed an AI-based healthcare platform which learns medical standards and protocols and diagnosis and treatment methods to further help the doctors with necessary data and analysis. The company earlier this year raised $4.2 million in funding.

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