Amazon's healthcare data lake now available to providers: 7 things to know 

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Amazon Web Services on July 15 launched general availability of its new data lake service for healthcare providers and life sciences organizations, with Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center among the first customers. 

Seven things to know: 

1. AWS unveiled Amazon HealthLake in December; the HIPAA-eligible service is designed to identify critical information and data and structure it into the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard format to support health information sharing between providers. 

2. Healthcare providers can use the data lake to identify trends and spot anomalies in the data to support predictions about disease progression, clinical trial efficacy and accuracy of insurance premiums. 

3. HealthLake uses machine learning to automate the extraction of unstructured health data so organizations can apply customized machine learning and advanced analytics to their health information. 

4. HealthLake's machine learning models have been trained to understand medical terminology and identify and tag different types of clinical information. The service then creates standardized labels, such as medications, conditions and diagnoses, so providers can easily search for and analyze the data. 

5. Rush had been using HealthLake while the service was still in preview mode; the health system used the tool to address health inequities within its COVID-19 response as it allowed clinicians to quickly store disparate data from multiple sources in an FHIR format to gain better insights on COVID-19 patients, Bala Hota, MD, vice president and chief analytics officer at Rush University Medical Center, said in the news release. 

"We have also used HealthLake’s integrated natural language processing to extract information such as medication, diagnosis, and previous conditions from doctors’ clinical notes and enrich patient records to examine barriers to healthcare access, providing our researchers additional data points for analytics." 

6. The data lake also is now available to customers under AWS for Health, Amazon's portfolio of tech services for healthcare, biopharma and genomic organizations. 

7. HealthLake is available in the U.S. East (North Virginia), U.S. East (Ohio) and U.S. West (Oregon) regions, according to the news release. Amazon plans to launch additional regional availability soon.

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