Welcome to Digital Health Briefing, a new morning email providing the latest news, data, and insight on how digital technology is disrupting the healthcare ecosystem, produced by BI Intelligence.
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AMAZON TO ENTER MAJOR HEALTHCARE PARTNERSHIP: Amazon’s cloud-computing business, Amazon Web Services (AWS), is partnering with healthcare tech giant Cerner to help medical providers use their data to make effective health predictions, according to CNBC. AWS will provide cloud services for Cerner’s cloud-based population health management platform HealtheIntent. The platform collects data from many different sources, including electronic health records (EHR) and insurance claims, to enable organisations to identify and predict risks to individuals or populations. This helps organisations make better-informed decisions when selecting care programs.
For Amazon, the partnership is an opportunity to establish a foothold in healthcare cloud services. By working with Cerner – a giant in the industry, generating about $US5 billion in annual sales and controlling a quarter of the EHR market – AWS could become a more attractive option for healthcare providers.
This is just the beginning for Amazon. Amazon has been taking a number of steps to win favour with vendors in this market. In 2017, Amazon’s cloud-computing business announced that Amazon API Gateway, AWS Direct Connect, AWS Database Migration Service, and Amazon SQS were all HIPAA-compliant. Further, Amazon and regulators in Tennessee and Indiana met recently to discuss the firm’s interest in shipping medical devices and supplies.The e-commerce giant also made headlines after obtaining wholesale pharmacy licenses in a number of US states. Amazon, which is known for disrupting major industries, may be on the path to building out a full healthcare ecosystem, which could threaten traditional players in the space as well as new entrants. For context, the global cloud healthcare market is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 21% between 2015 and 2020 to reach $US9.5 billion, according to MarketsAndMarkets.
APPLE WATCH SHOWS PROMISE IN HELPING TREAT DEPRESSION: The Apple Watch could play a role in providing new and more accurate symptom tracking and treatment for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), according to MobiHealthNews. The smartwatch can be used to collect data on cognition and mood, according to a study from Cognition Kit, a digital health platform. The analysis of the app-based tests were compared to traditional MDD-cognition tests and self-reported measurements of symptoms. Researchers found that there were moderate to high levels of correlation between the app-driven measurements and the traditional tests, which suggests potential for wearable devices to be used to collect useful data for monitoring and treating MDD without disruptive in-person visits or imprecise self-assessments.
IBM WATSON SHOWS ITS POWER IN CANCER STUDY: A new study led by researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center shows that IBM’s AI technology, Watson, can be an effective tool in pinpointing treatments for cancer patients. The researchers used Watson for Genomics to sift through massive datasets and genetic information to identify treatment and clinical trial options for over 1,000 patients that had tumours with specific genetic abnormalities. Watson’s choices were then compared to those of a molecular tumour board. The cognitive computing technology was not only able to identify 703 cases of actionable genetic alterations that the board also identified, but it also identified additional potential therapeutic options for 323 patients. Although the study wasn’t designed to determine how cognitive computing can improve outcomes, it did demonstrate how AI applications can be used by physicians to quickly determine treatment options in an ever-expanding industry where new treatments and medications are constantly being introduced.
IN OTHER NEWS…
Philips and Nuance Communications, have partnered to give radiologists access to AI-based image interpretation and reporting capabilities.
Oviva Health, which has developed a platform for treating diet-related health conditions, has secured $US12 million in Series A funding, according to PE Hub. The participants in this round of funding include Albion Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital Partners, Partech Ventures, and Walking Ventures.