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August 1, 2017

Inside Amazon's 'secret lab' developing new EHR and telemedicine technologies

Daily Briefing

    Tech giant Amazon is reportedly creating a secret team dedicated to exploring new opportunities for EHRs and telemedicine, Eugene Kim and Christina Farr report for CNBC.

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    Amazon's secret lab

    The experimental lab, called 1492, is located in Seattle and is working on both hardware and software projects, according to two sources familiar with the team. One of the projects reportedly involves identifying ways to add and extract data from legacy EHRs in an effort to make that information more readily available to both patients and their doctors. Another reportedly is looking to build a new telemedicine platform that would make it more convenient for patients to have virtual visits with their doctors.

    The group at the 1492 lab reportedly is also looking into ways that existing Amazon hardware, such as its voice-powered Echo devices, can be used in the health care industry. Many hospitals and doctor's offices already have begun developing skills for the Amazon Echo, CNBC reports.

    Initially, Amazon advertised job openings for its 1492 lab under the keyword "a1.492," and some people involved with the project had listed their affiliation with 1492 on their LinkedIn profiles. One profile, that of Cameron Charles who is involved with the project, simply wrote "I can't say anything about what we're working on, but we're hiring."

    However, as of July 27, all references to 1492 on job sites and LinkedIn profiles had been removed, CNBC reports (Kim/Farr, CNBC, 7/27; Dietsche, MedCity News, 7/27; Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 7/27; Spitzer, Becker's Health IT & CIO Review, 7/27).

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