Amazon may not have been quite vocal about its healthcare plans, but recently a senior leader shed light on the core areas of the business giant’s focus. While the senior leader Taha KassHout, did not divulge any secrets but maintained that Amazon saw massive opportunity in development of health care AI tools. He stated that the first use of AI in health dates back to 1960s where the technology was used for taking patients to its destination and that last year saw major developments in AI. However, he also maintained that the whole concept has been blown out of proportion. Finally, he says that the real results started to show in 2018.
KassHout spoke about Comprehend Medical, Amazon’s AI service that gives health info. Amazon launched it last year which is used to predict the likelihood of the insurance claim being rejected. He further explained that the role of AI would be to curate the health information and recommend a couple of options best suited for the patient. While these tools can in no way replace a doctor, it can help them perform their jobs well. KassHout also stated that there is a risk that the societal inequities may worsen if these tools are not used for the benefit who are really sick. He stated that there are regions where there is just 1 doctor for 100000 patients. In such scenario, it is difficult for the doctors and the clinicians or the experts to focus at the right place.
Amazon has never divulged its healthcare goals. The company is currently going over several areas, having project teams. One such team worked in the area of drug supply. Amazon bought Pillpack, an internet pharmacy in 2018. Also, using AWS, Amazon’s cloud service, the company is planning to sell health systems.