Amazon's moonshot lab Grand Challenge is working on a series of health projects: 7 things to know

Grand Challenge, Amazon's stealthy group led by Google Glass creator Babak Parviz, PhD, is exploring numerous healthcare-flavored projects to grow the e-commerce giant's already expansive portfolio, according to CNBC.

The group is similar to Alphabet's moonshot lab, X — a secretive, exploratory team that takes on projects with ambitious goals.

Here are seven things to know about Amazon's Grand Challenge team:

1. The team operates under several names, including 1492 and Amazon X, and since Dr. Parviz joined Amazon in 2014, it has added more than 50 people.

2. One of the projects Grand Challenge is working on involves cancer research. In collaboration with the Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Grand Challenge hopes to apply machine learning to prevent and cure cancers, a person familiar with the team told CNBC.

3. A Fred Hutchinson spokesperson told the publication it has "several projects underway with a few of our tech neighbors," including Microsoft, Amazon and Tableau Software. "Given the early stages, we don't have any specific Amazon Web Services projects to preview but hopefully later this year," the spokesperson said.

4. Grand Challenge is also reportedly working with Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud business, on a project known internally as Hera.

5. Hera has been in development for at least three years, but Amazon is starting to market it to commercial health insurers. It reviews unstructured EHR data to point out coding mistakes or misdiagnoses, and it captures patient data physicians might otherwise miss. Hera's aim is to remove inaccuracies for payers so they can better assess a population's risk.

6. At an event earlier this year hosted by Klick Health, a health marketing firm, Dr. Parviz hinted that some of Grand Challenge's work centers on healthcare for seniors. "Something ... we've been building for some period of time and we deeply care about ... relates to what happens to older people," he said, according to CNBC.

7. Grand Challenge is also involved with Amazon's last-mile delivery initiatives, which seek to improve its package delivery process by offering in-home or car trunk deliveries.

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