Amazon Web Services at HIMSS20: Three key trends to watch

AWS says conference attendees should consider predicting patient health events, personalizing the health journey, and promoting interoperability.
By Bill Siwicki
02:54 PM
Amazon Web Services at HIMSS20: Three key trends to watch

Update: HIMSS20 has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Read more here.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will have a large presence at the big HIMSS20 event (Booth 858), and it will be discussing a variety of technologies and issues with attendees. Among other things, AWS will be discussing three trends it has identified as important for HIMSS20 attendees: predicting patient health events, personalizing the consumer health journey, and promoting interoperability in healthcare.

Trend 1: Predicting patient health events

AWS says there is a renaissance in healthcare as more of its clients leverage machine learning technologies to uncover new ways to enhance patient care, improve health outcomes and, ultimately, save lives.

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“As the country moves toward value-based care, artificial intelligence and machine learning, paired with data interoperability, will improve patient outcomes while driving operational efficiency to lower the overall cost of care,” said Dr. Shez Partovi, director of worldwide business development for healthcare, life sciences and genomics at AWS. “By enabling data liquidity securely and supporting healthcare providers with predictive machine learning models, clinicians will be able to seamlessly forecast clinical events, like strokes, cancer or heart attacks, and intervene early with personalized care and a superior patient experience.”

"As the country moves toward value-based care, artificial intelligence and machine learning, paired with data interoperability, will improve patient outcomes while driving operational efficiency to lower the overall cost of care."

Dr. Shez Partovi, AWS

An example of work like this already underway is a machine learning model developed by Cerner and AWS that predicts congestive heart failure up to 15 months before clinical manifestation. Pairing this predictive tool with real-time integration into individual health records can support provider decision making in real time, Partovi said. Future projects will look to improve pre-procedural decision and interventions for chest pain using a cardiovascular prediction model, he added.

“Another example is INOVA Translational Medicine Institute (ITMI), which is assembling one of the world’s largest whole-genome sequence databases that will enable researchers to track 30 billion genetic variants,” he explained. “AWS architecture facilitates the storage and management of this secure data and enables ITMI researchers to develop personalized treatments and predictive care for newborns suffering from congenital disorders and patients of all ages with cancer-causing genetic mutations.”

Trend 2: Personalizing the consumer health journey

AWS clients are working to create a frictionless and more personalized experience for their patients. The company says healthcare today is operating in a consumer-centric world where the best experience anywhere is what people expect everywhere.

“For example, when a patient registers at a medical clinic, they simply share their health insurance card with the receptionist who then enters the patient’s insurance information into the clinic systems,” Partovi said. “When the same activity is done online, such as for online scheduling, the patient has to manually ‘transcribe’ all the information from the insurance card into an online form. All of these processes have the potential to create friction.”

Zocdoc, an online healthcare scheduling service, uses Amazon Image Rekognition that allows the patient to simply hold the insurance card in front of the camera to process all required information, including the patient’s eligibility for insurance. It also schedules an appointment within network. Zocdoc leverages AI to create a digital front door so that patients have a better, simpler and frictionless experience, Partovi contended.

“Another great example of improving the consumer health journey is Aidoc,” he said. “The company’s always-on, AI-based decision support software analyzes CT scans on AWS to flag acute abnormalities, prioritize urgent studies and expedite patient care. To date, Aidoc has analyzed more than 3.2 million cases at more than 300 medical facilities around the world. At one major U.S. medical center, on average the Aidoc solution reduced patient ED visits by 59 minutes and overall hospitalization time by 18 hours.”

Trend 3: Promote interoperability in healthcare

Most electronic health record systems do not follow patients on their care journey beyond the hospital or clinic walls. As a result, only a portion of healthcare data is available at any point of care, resulting in a fragmented view of a patient’s health history.

The industry has started to make significant strides toward reducing barriers to interoperability, but there is still more work to be done. The biggest barrier in healthcare right now is that most health and patient data is stored as unstructured medical format, and identifying this information is a manual and time-consuming process, said Patrick Combes, worldwide technical leader, healthcare and life sciences, at AWS.

"Having solutions that can process various media types and forms by transforming the data input from voice, image, scan, PDF, etc., into text has the potential to paint a fuller picture of health for every patient."

Patrick Combes, AWS

“Future engagements in healthcare will be revamped by using free-form, voice interactions with voice-enabled devices and smart devices,” he predicted. “Having solutions that can process various media types and forms by transforming the data input from voice, image, scan, PDF, etc., into text has the potential to paint a fuller picture of health for every patient.”

With access to all available information, advanced analytics and machine learning can then enhance medical and scientific insights tied to patient outcomes in an accurate, scalable, secure and timely manner, he added.

“By eliminating barriers and providing greater visibility into a patient’s medical history, interoperability will not only provide a better patient experience anywhere, but it will also empower patients to take greater control over their entire healthcare journey,” he said.

For example, last year, AWS worked with Fred Hutchinson Research Center to create FHIR-enabled storage and APIs, enabling care coordination between oncologists and primary care providers.

“Fred Hutch used the APIs to provide patients with an application to support their regimes, including appointment follow-up and engagements with multiple providers, providing visibility into disease progression,” Combes said. “This digital therapeutic approach helped improve patients’ mental health, health outcomes and overall experience.”

AWS at HIMSS 2020

HIMSS 2020 attendees can learn about how AWS is working with healthcare customers and partners to support their efforts with predicting patient health events, personalizing the consumer health journey and promoting interoperability, with the goal of improving patient outcomes while driving operational efficiency to lower the overall cost of care, the company said.

At the AWS booth, attendees can see demos from AWS key partners and learn about how to apply AWS AI and machine learning services in their healthcare organizations. Throughout the show, there will be a variety of customer and partner presentations in AWS’s theater area. The AWS Partner Network and the solutions and services they provide are important to AWS’ healthcare and life sciences customers.

In addition, AWS is the premier sponsor of the 2nd Annual Pharma Forum at HIMSS20. This one-day forum brings together leaders across sectors of the healthcare ecosystem to discuss emerging collaborations and partnerships between pharma, payers, providers and patients. Areas of focus include data sharing, disruptive technologies, collecting real-world evidence for clinical trials and patient engagement.

AWS will be in booth 858 at HIMSS20.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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