Hospitals and businesses use cloud service, machine learning, and voice-guided devices to identify patient health care.

Photo: 3dreams / Shutterstock

Speakers at the AWS Healthcare and Life Sciences Virtual Symposium say customizing healthcare requires the power of cloud computing, whether the challenge is cancer screening, reducing doctors ’paperwork, or making treatment decisions.

Wilson, global director of health care AWS, will host the event at the end of May. The four guests discussed how cloud services can improve information management to identify health care.

Grail chief Josh Ofman said his attempt to use cloud services to detect cancer at earlier stages when it is easier to treat. The gallery test uses a blood test to screen for several cancers at once.

Ofman said genomics and machine learning are the foundation of a new early detection test. The test looks for epigenetic changes in a person’s DNA that may be a warning sign of cancer-induced mutations.

According to the company, the false positive portion of the test is less than 0.5% and a positive predictive value 44%.

Grail recommends the Gallery test for people over the age of 50 who are at higher risk for cancer. The company also suggests that the test be used in addition to other screenings, not to replace current procedures. The company claims that the test can identifies more than 50 types of cancer vary between Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, melanoma, and soft tissue sarcoma.

In 2017, Grail began collecting and analyzing hundreds of thousands of records and genomic datasets with AWS. Grail moved its nuclear processing and analytical infrastructure on site to the cloud platform at the time. Grail uses AWS storage, computing and network services.

“This collaboration will support growth and allow us to reach scale,” Ofman said.

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Ofman said the company’s data set grows by orders of magnitude as researchers process all of their current samples.

“It allows us to continue refining our tests and developing new products for new disease areas,” he said.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the most common cancers in men are prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers, which account for about 43% of cancers diagnosed in men in 2020. .

The retail price of the test is $ 949. According to the company, the test is not covered by the insurance.

Build high-touch and high-tech patient experiences

Three other AWS clients spoke at the event, including Biogen, Cambia Health Solutions and Houston Methodist Hospital. Laurent Rotival, CIO and Vice President of Cambia Health Solutions, said his company uses AWS to bring together data streams from different sources to create a unified experience for customers.

Alisha Alaimo, president of Biogen’s U.S. organization, explained how the company worked against us against Alzheimer’s to develop a screening test. The idea was to make the test feel more personal and less intimidating.

A brain health test can be performed by a person who worries themselves or by a caregiver who is worried about a loved one. Screening is available at, anonymously and available in English and Spanish.

Roberta Schwartz, director of innovation and vice president at Houston Methodist Hospital, described the health system’s work with Alexa and voice commands to improve patient care. Schwartz also sees a need for more personalized health care, a trend that the pandemic intensified. The hospital system used these guidelines to renew the patient experience: Help me now, make it easy, and remember me.

Another goal of the project was to give doctors more face time than screening time when working with patients.

The hospital has Amazon Echos in every room, and Schwartz said he saw a new level of device acceptance among patients and doctors.

“The equipment was necessary when patients had no visitors,” he said. “We are going to connect our Alexas to the nurse call system as well.”

The hospital also plans to use the devices to reduce the time physicians have to spend transcribing patient data and to facilitate the acquisition of relevant data during patient consultation.

During the 34-week pilot program, the hospital installed 1,200 devices on its premises and saw more than 600 interactions daily with Alexa and virtual health assistant Avia. Music requests were the most popular request, 75%, followed by information searches, socializing, weather search, and general communication.

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