- Amazon has a secret skunkworks lab called 1492, dedicated to health care tech.
- Areas of exploration include a platform for electronic medical record data, telemedicine and health apps for existing devices like the Amazon Echo.
Thursday, August 03, 2017
I Have To Say It Is Hard Not To Wonder Just Where This Is Heading!
This appeared last week:
Thursday, 27 Jul 2017 | 2:30 PM ET
Amazon has started a secret skunkworks lab dedicated to opportunities in health care, including new areas such as electronic medical records and telemedicine. Amazon has dubbed this stealth team 1492, which appears to be a reference to the year Columbus first landed in the Americas.
The stealth team, which is headquartered in Seattle, is focused on both hardware and software projects, according to two people familiar. Amazon has become increasingly interested in exploring new business in healthcare. For example, Amazon has another unit exploring selling pharmaceuticals, CNBC reported in May.
The new team is currently looking at opportunities that involve pushing and pulling data from legacy electronic medical record systems. If successful, Amazon could make that information available to consumers and their doctors. It is also hoping to build a platform for telemedicine, which in turn could make it easier for people to have virtual consultations with doctors, one of the people said.
The group is also exploring health applications for existing Amazon hardware, including Echo and Dash Wand. Hospitals and doctor's offices have already dabbled in developing skills for Amazon's voice assistant Alexa, which presents a big opportunity for the e-commerce company.
It's not clear whether Amazon is building any new health devices, but sources didn't rule it out.
When this article was originally published, on July 26, Amazon was advertising a slew of roles for its "stealth" operation, which were searchable on the jobs site under the keyword "a1.492." Some job posts described the position as "The Amazon Grand Challenge a.k.a. 'Special Projects' team." The unit also had ads posted for a UX Design Manager for its "new vertical," as well as a machine learning director with experience in healthcare IT and analytics and a knowledge of electronic medical records.
Some members of the team listed their affiliation with a1.492 on LinkedIn. Those involved include two machine learning experts; a UX designer; and two strategic initiative leads that are running projects inside the group, Kristen Helton and Cameron Charles.
As of July 27, all references to a1.492 had been removed from Amazon's jobs site and from these LinkedIn profiles. Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.
There was also further coverage here:
Just weeks after rumors hinted that Apple is working on a way to bring health records together on iPhones, Amazon appears to have launched an investigation about building EHR software.
July 27, 2017 04:38 PM
Amazon has started a secret lab at its Seattle headquarters to explore business prospects in the healthcare sector, including EHRs and telemedicine, according CNBC. That report comes on the heels of swirling rumors that Apple is in talks with hospitals and other healthcare organizations to explore the possibility of bringing health records together on the iPhone.
It’s important to note that press reports thus far are based on unnamed sources and industry analysts speculate that even for the likes of Amazon and Apple stealing customers away from Epic, Cerner and Allscripts would likely be a difficult and lengthy process.
Amazon is reportedly considering developing an EHR platform as well as telemedicine and health apps for existing devices, such as its Echo.
Amazon has dubbed the covert team “1492,” the year Columbus first landed in the Americas, and it is hiring for positions that are searchable on Amazon using the keyword “a1.492.” The crew is also working on healthcare applications for Amazon devices, such as Echo and Dash Wand.
I wonder where all this is heading. Your guess is as good as mine!!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Thursday, August 03, 2017