Amazon, not content with disrupting retail, distribution, computing, publishing, grocery shopping, and other spheres of business, is now turning its attention to medicine. It has recently announced the launch of its own brand of consumer medical devices, and has now released a service that can convert unstructured medical data, such as doctor’s notes, into tagged and searchable information.
The new Amazon Comprehend Medical offering is able to elucidate things like diagnoses, drugs and dosages prescribed, results of examinations, and related info from free-formed text. It seems to aim to make forms irrelevant, letting medical professionals focus on the natural flow of an exam or office visit instead of on the form, which has to be filled out in a specific fashion.
The machine-learning system should be able to improve over time as it continues to learn from new inputs and an increased variety of data. This will probably have to involve industry partners that sign up to use its capabilities within their products, and therefore will help to train the system for their specific use cases.
Amazon describes the system as being “HIPAA-eligible,” which we take to mean that it can be made HIPAA-compliant if desired, which it certainly will in most cases. It also notes that “no customer data is used to train or improve the machine learning models under the hood of Comprehend Medical”.