Amazon announced that it has launched a project to mine data from electronic health records. Amazon Comprehend Medical is a HIPAA-eligible machine-learning service that allows developers to process unstructured medical text and identify information such as patient diagnosis, treatments, dosages, and symptoms and signs.
Amazon Comprehend Medical is intended for practitioners, insurers, researchers, and clinical trial investigators to improve both clinical decision support and clinical trials management, while, according to the company, also addressing data privacy and protected health information (PHI) requirements. The service reportedly can recognize medical conditions, anatomic terms, medications, medical test details, treatments, and procedures and then output this relevant patient data.
The service is currently in use at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Amazon reportedly has moved into the healthcare information space to help speed up the process of making sense of health data, which it contends isn’t usually stored in ways that computers can understand and analyze.
“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,” Amazon said in a blog post. “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. In both cases this undifferentiated heavy lifting takes material resources away from efforts to improve patient outcomes through technology.”