Amazon has increased its stake in the $3.5 trillion (£2.7 trillion) American healthcare sector, offering its AI capabilities to a Boston hospital in an effort to improve medical care.
The retail giant’s cloud technology arm Amazon Web Services has partnered with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, which is affiliated with Harvard University, to explore which areas machine learning and AI can help improve.
“They’re identifying the right problems where machine learning truly can help,” Amazon’s health care and AI leader Taha Kass-Hout said.
“If you shop on Amazon, you pretty much have experienced machine learning and personalisation.”
Amazon has awarded the hospital a grant valued at around $2 million to experiment with its these technologies and determine where it can be used to tackle inefficiencies, which are rife within the US healthcare system.
The hospital has used Amazon’s cloud services since 2016, and is now being used to automate cumbersome manual tasks.
It is also being used to help predict when patients are likely to miss appointments, find needed paperwork alerting staff when it is missing or incomplete, and book operating room times more precisely, allowing it to expand the capacity of its 41 operating theatres and increasing their efficiency over 30 per cent.