Amazon to sell software that can read medical records

With the health care industry worth around $3 billion, it’s not surprising to see more tech companies’ move into this area. One of these is Amazon, which is planning to sell software that will allow healthcare providers to mine patients’ medical records for information that could improve treatments and reduce costs.



While there are other algorithms that try to perform the same function, these often run into issues because of the unstructured medical text, Amazon has trained its software to recognize the way doctors take notes, allowing it to extract important data.

Amazon Comprehend Medical uses machine learning to scan through records and identify information such as patient diagnosis, treatments, dosages, symptoms and signs, and more, organizing it all into a spreadsheet-style report.

Words from GM (Artificial Intelligence at Amazon):

Talking to the Wall Street Journal, Matt Wood, general manager of artificial intelligence at Web Services said:

“We’re able to completely, automatically look inside medical language and identify patient details with incredibly high accuracy.”

Also, “The service will ‘read’ the text and then identify and return the medical information contained within it,” Amazon said in a blog post Tuesday.

 Amazon said the software will also better address privacy and protected health information requirements.

 “No data processed by the service is stored or used for training,” Amazon said.


Trustworthy or Not:

Would YOU trust them with your health data? The software developed by retailer reads patients’ medical records and then tells doctors what illnesses to look out for.

  • Firstly, Amazon Comprehend Medical- designed to mine patient medical records.
  • Secondly, It can pick out key data points and give information to doctors about treatment.
  • Thirdly, the use of health records by companies has been criticized over data privacy.
  • Finally, developers say the data processed by the firm’s algorithms will be encrypted.

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Into The Business:

Other businesses already use Amazon software, including travel booking, supply-chain management, and customer service firms.

While its expanse into the medical industry does bring up some privacy concerns. Amazon says that “No data processed- stored or used for training.”

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle tested the software before its launch. It helped identify patients who participate in experimental drug studies. This isn’t their first foray into the medical world. The retail giant acquired online pharmacy Pill Pack back in June for around $1 billion. We hope that their entry into the electronic health records space will help address the problem. And not increase the existing pain.

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Vaibhav Tyagi

Vaibhav Tyagi

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