According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, tech companies which include giants such as Amazon Web Services, IBM, and Microsoft, are making pacts with hospitals and health care systems to gather and analyze medical records of patients. This is a step towards developing innovative healthcare solutions.
Hospitals handover their patient’s information to tech firms without attempting to hide the identity of the patients. Such deals may ring a bell for patients and their care providers, even though there has been no indication of any wrongdoing. As per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, hospitals can legally share information with its business partners without patients’ consent.
Microsoft has collaborated with Renton-based Providence St. Joseph Health, one of the biggest hospitals in Washington, recording an annual footfall of approximately 20 million patients. Medical records that the hospital shares with Microsoft go as it is, without removing identifiable patient information. Initially, Providence St. Joseph Health said that they would be removing all information about the patients before sharing data with Microsoft; the health system CIO has clarified that it is not possible. Microsoft will be using all this data which includes patient information and physician notes for the development of cancer algorithms.
IBM has partnered with Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital; here, it has been taken care that no patient identification details are passed on to IBM. IBM plans to use the patient data collected to develop artificial intelligence to facilitate clinicians in sharing data for explicit requests.
Amazon Web Services is designing software that can read the practitioner’s notes. For this project, the tech giant has joined hands with Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. As per the deal, Amazon has access to the health information of the patients.
With the progression of technology and the advancement of data science, a growing number of technology firms are in the race to develop software solutions for the healthcare sector. Many innovative technologies are being developed to make the doctor-patient experience fulfilling and also to enhance the treatment method.