AWS launches HealthLake to help health care organizations query medical data

A stethoscope on top of a MacBook keyboard
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AWS has made its cloud-based health care data lake solution, Amazon HealthLake, generally available to customers, enabling health care organizations to pull medical information from different sources into a single environment and use it to improve patient care.

With the solution, the tech giant wants to end the enormous spread of medical data across various applications and other systems.

Various patient medical information, such as clinical notes, lab results, and insurance information, is often housed in separate databases. This makes it extremely difficult for health care professionals to get a complete overview of a patient’s information. Moreover, collecting this information takes a lot of time.

With HealthLake, this could be a thing of the past, as it merges all patient data into a single data repository. In concrete terms, the solution offers a collection of connectors that automatically import records from commonly used health applications. When these records are in the data repository, algorithms based on natural language processing ensure the data is organized. This makes it easier to work with, according to AWS.

The algorithms scan medical documentation, such as clinical notes, and extract patient information. Then, Amazon HealthLake indexes this information and offers it as search pages in a search engine, adapting the raw data into easily searchable data. The ultimate result is doctors can search patient information faster than manually scrolling through all the information.

Additionally, Amazon HealthLake makes it possible to move the combined patient data to other systems for further processing. For this purpose, the data is stored in the industry-standard FHIR. The moving process takes place with a separate API that AWS provides in its Amazon product.

AWS also aims to provide added services to health care customers within the solution. This includes providing artificial intelligence (AI) services to improve patient care. AI can automate tasks, such as making medical diagnoses and planning treatment trajectories. AI can also provide general recommendations.

The underlying infrastructure of the Amazon HealthLake solution is fully managed by AWS. IT specialists from health care institutions only need to create a new data store. This data store is fully operational within minutes, the tech giant indicates. AWS handles the management, configuration and setup of the underlying infrastructure.


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“More and more of our customers in the healthcare and life sciences space are looking to organize and make sense of their reams of data, but are finding this process challenging and cumbersome,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Amazon Machine Learning for AWS.

“We built Amazon HealthLake to remove this heavy lifting for healthcare organizations so they can transform health data in the cloud in minutes and begin analyzing that information securely at scale. Alongside AWS for Health, we’re excited about how Amazon HealthLake can help medical providers, health insurers, and pharmaceutical companies provide patients and populations with data-driven, personalized, and predictive care.”

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.