Amazon Launches Health IT Software

Online retail and technology company Amazon plans to get into the healthcare IT industry its Amazon Comprehend Medical software, which is designed to do everything from helping cure cancer to providing clinical decision support, the company announced recently.

Amazon’s software relies on machine learning to analyze unstructured data entered in electronic health records (EHRs) to process patient information such as physician notes, prescriptions, audio interview transcripts, and pathology and radiology reports, in order to help “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,” the company explained in a blog post about the initiative. The machine learning technology is said to be able to identify information about medical conditions, anatomic terms, medications, details of medical tests, treatments, and procedures, and process it in a way that makes it easier for patients to understand while also painting a picture of the patient that providers can access quickly.

In addition to giving patients and providers more information, Amazon Comprehend has an application programming interface (API) that other health IT vendors can access and integrate with existing services and health systems. Amazon’s product is designed to be HIPAA-compliant and work with HIPAA-covered entities through business associate agreements.

Amazon has been piloting its software with Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center by helping it comb through medical records to find patients that can be enrolled in clinical trials, as well as with Roche Diagnostics, EHR Intelligence reports.

“Amazon Comprehend Medical provides the functionality to help us with quickly extracting and structuring information from medical documents, so that we can build a comprehensive, longitudinal view of patients, and enable both decision support and population analytics,” Roche Diagnostics Information Solutions Director of Software Engineering Anish Kejariwal told EHR Intelligence.

Mary Butler is the associate editor at Journal of AHIMA.

1 Comment

  1. I understand that a lot of this will be geared toward keeping citizens healthy and happy, but what of those recently deceased. Has anyone figured out to use this in assisting in completing death certificates in a more accurate and timely fashion up to the CDC’s Requirements for filing?

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