Amazon’s big secret | Team 1492 & it´s healthcare ambitions


Amazon in healthcare

1492 is the year of nostalgia. The year that symbolized the advent of America as Columbus first rediscovered it after 10,000 years. Known as one of the hallmark years in history, the revolution shall repeat itself as Amazon aggregated its Health Technology Team to change the face of health sector forever under the name team 1492.

What is Team 1492?

1492 is a new stealth project started by Amazon that shall focus on various opportunities in digital healthcare, like Electronic Medical Records and telemedicine. Headquartered in Seattle, team 1492 is focused on both hardware and software. According to the source, Amazon has also invested in other specialties under health care as well, like Pharmaceuticals, etc. Some of the noted members believed to be involved in this project are Kristen Helton and Cameron Charles (they are machine learning experts).

Team 1492 aims to perform following tasks:

  1. Extracting and using data from Electronic Medical Records system and improve the algorithm to make it more efficient and useful.
  2. To make the data available to the patients and doctors.
  3. To build a platform for telemedicine so that patients can interact virtually with the physicians and specialists regarding their problems.
  4. Exploring various medical applications of hardware like Echo and Dash Wand.
  5. Developing skills for Amazon’s Alexa that can be used for healthcare as well.
  6. Also, there is a possibility about the development of medical devices as well.
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Future endeavors by Amazon in healthcare

In fact, not only 1492, but Amazon’s cloud operation, Amazon Web Services is also working on Life and Health Services. It has hired some health experts (mainly beating Microsoft and Google in the process) for contracts with pharmaceuticals and large hospitals. Not only that, but it has also invested in Grail (a health startup for the unusual type of customers in future that shall be used in the cloud business. It has been stated by Google executive which uses gene sequencing to detect cancer). It has also recently hired a former director of healthcare and life sciences at Box. It is also grabbing up various opportunities

Competition in market

The market for digital healthcare is rapidly growing as developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and importance of Digital health care have surfaced. Several big companies and start-ups are already laying their hand on this sector. Examples are as follows:-

  1. IBM Watson: IBM Watson provides cognitive health care solutions in areas like drug discovery, oncology, genomics, social program management, etc.
  2. Google Health: developing software to transform medicine, and deliver new, assistive technologies to guarantee better medical care. It is a personal health centralization services which seek to digitalize EMR (however, it was discontinued in 2011)
  3. Microsoft Vault
  4. EverlyWell
  5. Validic
  6. Evolent Health
  7. Sutter Health
  8. Calico
  9. Proteus Digital Health
  10. Otsuka Pharmaceuticals

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