The latest Amazon service uses machine learning to extract medical data from patient records – TechCrunch


Amazon has launched a new service that uses machine learning to extract key data from patient records and can potentially help health care providers and researchers save money, make decisions about treatment and manage clinical trials. The company announced the service, called Amazon Comprehend Medical, on Tuesday, shortly after the Wall Street Journal reported it.

Cloud software combines text analysis and machine learning to read patient records, often consisting of prescriptions, notes, audio interviews and test reports. Once these recordings are digitized and uploaded to Comprehend Medical, he selects and organizes information about diagnoses, treatments, drug dosage and symptoms.

Among Amazon's other recent forays in the healthcare sector include the payment of nearly $ 1 billion to acquire the PillPack online prescription service and the creation of a new joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase to improve employee health care. He joins other major technology companies increasingly focused on health care. For example, earlier this year, Apple launched a feature allowing customers to view their hospital's medical records on their iPhone, while Google recently hired Geisinger's former CEO, David Feinberg, to unify and direct the health initiatives of its activities, including research, Google Brain, Google Fit. and Nest.

In its announcement, Amazon said that "today, identifying this information is a manual and tedious process, which requires either data entry by highly qualified medical experts or teams of developers writing a report. custom code and rules to automatically extract information. The company said Comprehend Medical could accurately identify "medical conditions, anatomical terms, details about medical tests, treatments and procedures." In turn, patients can use the service to manage different aspects of their condition. treatment, including scheduling medical visits and prescription drugs. or determine eligibility for insurance.

Of course, downloading medical records to the cloud for machine-learning analysis can pose questions to patients about how Comprehend Medical will guarantee their privacy. Amazon states that patient data is encrypted and can only be unlocked by customers with a key. No processed data will be stored or used for the learning of its algorithms. Comprehend Medical complies with the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Comprehend Medical is already in the pipeline at Roche Diagnostics, a Swiss company specializing in pharmaceutical and diagnostic equipment, and the Fred Hutchison cancer research center in Seattle, which uses it to identify patients for clinical trials. Using the software to analyze "millions of clinical notes," Amazon says the center has been able to reduce the time needed to process each document "from hours to seconds."

In a statement, Matthew Trunnell, CIO of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who studies cancer and conducts clinical trials and voluntary studies on new treatments, said, "For cancer patients and dedicated researchers at their healing, time is the most important resource. The process of developing clinical trials and connecting them to the right patients requires research teams that screen and label mountains of unstructured medical records. Amazon Comprehend Medical will reduce this time burden of hours by recording to a few seconds. This is an essential step in enabling researchers to quickly access the information they need, when they need it, so that they can get concrete information to advance the therapies that save lives. patients. "


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