The Morning Download: Amazon Uses Natural Language Processi…
Good day, CIOs. For years, the sometimes inscrutable language used by medical doctors on prescriptions and health records has befuddled patients, administrators and, more recently, firms involved in the $3.2 trillion health industry’s decade-long shift to electronic records. But health care’s future is starting to become more legible. The Wall Street Journal’s Melanie Evans and Laura Stevens report that Amazon.com Inc. is now selling software that can read patient records and other clinical notes, analyze them and pluck out key data points.
Prescription for health-data analytics unfilled. The ability to analyze patient medical records, “an obvious application of the natural-language processing capabilities developed by tech companies,” historically has posed technical hurdles. Misspellings, abbreviations and doctors’ idiosyncratic descriptions create trouble for algorithms, according to Dr. Julia Adler-Milstein, director of the Center for Clinical Informatics and Improvement Research at the University of California, San Francisco.
Start making sense. Amazon officials said the company’s software developers trained the system using deep learning to recognize all the ways a doctor might record notes. “We’re able to completely, automatically look inside medical language and identify patient details … with incredibly high accuracy,” Matt Wood, general manager of artificial intelligence at Amazon Web Services, tells the WSJ. Users upload health records to Amazon’s cloud service, where they can run the text-processing software. Amazon’s algorithms analyze text for specific types of data and return the results in an organized format.
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