Creepy software developed by Amazon reads patients’ medical records

Amazon is working on creepy new software that reads patient medical records and then tells doctors what illnesses to look out for.   

The project, which is called Amazon Comprehend Medical, uses language processing AI to pick out key data points from digitised medical notes.

The use of health records by companies – now a market worth $3.2 trillion (£2.5tn) – is famously contentious.

However, developers say the data processed by the firm’s algorithms is encrypted and will only be seen by customers and not shared with Amazon Web Services. 

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Amazon is working on creepy new software that reads patient medical records and then tells doctors what illnesses to look out for (stock image)

Amazon is working on creepy new software that reads patient medical records and then tells doctors what illnesses to look out for (stock image)

Amazon is working on creepy new software that reads patient medical records and then tells doctors what illnesses to look out for (stock image)

According to the firm, Amazon Comprehend Medical means doctors could access medical information on specific conditions, dosage, strength and frequency.

The language processing AI scans information like doctor’s notes, clinical trial reports and patient health records. 

In order to use the service, which is currently not available commercially, users will have to upload their health records to Amazon’s cloud service.

The software then runs through this information and analyses the data, which according to the firm is only shared with the patient.

‘Additionally, the service identifies the relationship among the extracted medication and test, treatment and procedure information’, the developers said.

‘For example, the service identifies a particular dosage, strength, or frequency related to a specific medication from unstructured clinical notes.’

Now more than 80 per cent of US hospitals have electronic health records, compared to just 10 per cent in 2008, according to Wall Street Journal.

‘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’, Dr Matt Wood, general manager of artificial intelligence at Amazon Web Services, wrote on a blog post.

Amazon Comprehend Medical claims to help medical experts identify these reports ‘with high accuracy’, he said.

During tests, the software was reported to work better than other published efforts. 

MailOnline has contacted Amazon for comment.

Amazon is one of many firms increasingly showing an interest in the lucrative market of health care. 

The project, which is called Amazon Comprehend Medical, uses language processing AI to pick out key data points from digitised medical notes (file photo) 

The project, which is called Amazon Comprehend Medical, uses language processing AI to pick out key data points from digitised medical notes (file photo) 

The project, which is called Amazon Comprehend Medical, uses language processing AI to pick out key data points from digitised medical notes (file photo) 

A few months ago it was revealed a secretive unit of the internet giant is believed to be focusing on a variety of health issues, including cancer research and medical records, as well as other areas like logistics, CNBC reported, citing sources close to the situation. 

The team is being referred to internally as ‘Grand Challenge’, but also operates under the monikers ‘1492’ and ‘Amazon X’.  

It’s being spearheaded by the creator of Google Glass, Babak Parviz, as well as slew of Google X engineers and executives from health startups, according to CNBC.

The group has grown swiftly, adding more than 50 people to its ranks since 2014. 

Little is known about what Grand Challenge is working on, though a few details have trickled out. 

It’s been charged with working on a variety of ambitious ventures, as evidenced by a an internal job posting, which quotes astronomer Carl Sagan, saying: ‘Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known’. 

At a recent health care conference, Parviz alluded to a project that’s been in the works ‘for some period of time and…relates to what happens to older people’. 

The team is working with the Fred Hutchinson Center in Seattle to devise ways that machine learning can be used to help prevent and cure cancer. 

HOW WARREN BUFFETT, JEFF BEZOS AND JAMIE DIMON ARE TAKING ON TRUMP WITH THEIR OWN HEALTHCARE PLAN

The announcement that Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon are combining their bountiful resources to build a new healthcare system for their companies’ employees demonstrates in the strongest terms yet a united front by the three billionaires against President Trump. 

All three have been critical of the president in the past in varied degrees of sharpness. 

Their announcement plants them in the void left by Trump and his administration’s lack of action on healthcare after months of discussion and promises to repeal and replace Obamacare.  

It also falls in line with their track record of support for The Affordable Care Act. 

WARREN BUFFETT

Buffett, whose net worth is estimated at $93billion, has emphatically stayed away from vocal criticisms of the president. 

‘I’m not in the business of attacking any president, nor do I think I should be’, is what he told one CNBC interviewer last August. 

His Democratic allegiance is however clear – he endorsed Hillary Clinton during her election campaign and was a champion of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, describing it as a ‘step in the right direction’ despite its flaws.

Warren Buffett endorsed Hillary Clinton during the election (the pair are shown above in December 2015). He was an early advocate of the Affordable Care Act and much of his charity work includes large donations to health-focused organizations 

Warren Buffett endorsed Hillary Clinton during the election (the pair are shown above in December 2015). He was an early advocate of the Affordable Care Act and much of his charity work includes large donations to health-focused organizations 

Warren Buffett endorsed Hillary Clinton during the election (the pair are shown above in December 2015). He was an early advocate of the Affordable Care Act and much of his charity work includes large donations to health-focused organizations 

Buffet is a passionate health philanthropist and has used his fortune to upscale The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which places affordable healthcare at the forefront of its work.

Trump has said little of him since he took office.

In 2015, he suggested Buffett was the kind of talent he would like in his government and described him as a ‘common sense guy’. 

JAMIE DINON 

Dimon was a long time Obama supporter and has made generous contributions to the Democratic party. 

He was a member of Trump’s now disbanded Strategy and Policy Forum but abandoned the council along with other business leaders over Trump’s controversial remarks about the alt-right Charlottesville riots which left a woman dead.

Despite receiving criticism from fellow Democrats over his decision to join the counsel, he put his support behind the president at the time. 

‘I’m a patriot and will do what I can to help the United States of America; that includes helping whoever is president,’ he said at the time. 

Jamie Dimon (far left during a 2009 meeting with Barack Obama and PNC Chairman and CEO Jim Rohr) was described as Obama's favorite banker. He is a long-term Democrat and has made contributions to the party 

Jamie Dimon (far left during a 2009 meeting with Barack Obama and PNC Chairman and CEO Jim Rohr) was described as Obama's favorite banker. He is a long-term Democrat and has made contributions to the party 

Jamie Dimon (far left during a 2009 meeting with Barack Obama and PNC Chairman and CEO Jim Rohr) was described as Obama’s favorite banker. He is a long-term Democrat and has made contributions to the party 

Dimon was supportive of President Trump in the early stages of the presidency and was a member of his Strategy and Policy Forum but quit alongside other business leaders over Trump's controversial remarks about white supremacists at a Charlottesville rally in August. They are pictured in February 2017

Dimon was supportive of President Trump in the early stages of the presidency and was a member of his Strategy and Policy Forum but quit alongside other business leaders over Trump's controversial remarks about white supremacists at a Charlottesville rally in August. They are pictured in February 2017

Dimon was supportive of President Trump in the early stages of the presidency and was a member of his Strategy and Policy Forum but quit alongside other business leaders over Trump’s controversial remarks about white supremacists at a Charlottesville rally in August. They are pictured in February 2017

Dimon reversed that position in a memo to staff after Trump sympathised with the white supremacists in charge of the Charlottesville rally. 

‘There is no room for equivocation here: the evil on display by these perpetrators of hate should be condemned and has no place in a country that draws strength from our diversity and humanity,’ he said. 

JEFF BEZOS 

Bezos is the president’s most visible foe out of the trio.

Bezos is a regular target in President Trump's disgruntled tweets. He has retaliated by saying little of their feud but by donating to DACA recipients and by decrying Trump's immigration policies 

Bezos is a regular target in President Trump's disgruntled tweets. He has retaliated by saying little of their feud but by donating to DACA recipients and by decrying Trump's immigration policies 

Bezos is a regular target in President Trump’s disgruntled tweets. He has retaliated by saying little of their feud but by donating to DACA recipients and by decrying Trump’s immigration policies 

He was routinely ridiculed by Trump during the presidential campaign and deemed a herlader of ‘Fake News’ because of his newspaper, The Washington Post, and Trump’s hatred of it.

He believed he was unfairly attacked by its reporters and, in a separate gripe, has repeatedly alleged that Amazon does not pay internet taxes.  

Bezos has refrained from the same Twitter insults he was often the subject of, however he once claimed that Trump would threatened to ‘erode democracy’ before he won.

In one rare, spatty come-back in 2015, Bezos started the hashtag ‘sendDonaldtospace’ and joked that he would ‘save’ the president a seat on his Blue Origin rocket.

His remarks against the president since he took office have been limited to immigration. 

Earlier this month, he donated $33million to provide college tuition fees for 1,000 undocumented young Americans or ‘Dreamers’ whose right to stay in the country have been undercut by the president’s harsh crackdown on immigration. 

His recent takeover of Whole Foods added hundreds of thousands of employees – the recipients of the new healthcare plan – to Amazon’s roll call. 

In Bezos they won a new boss who, unlike former CEO John Mackley, supports Obamacare. 

Mackley compared the ACA to socialism in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. Later, he said it was more akin to fascism.  

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