The Giants Are Moving Into Healthcare
Authored by Ayesha Rajan, Research Analyst at Vikriti Management Consulting
When it comes to technology, there are a few giants that everyone knows in the same way they know that 2 + 2 = 4. Those giants include, but are not limited to, Amazon, Apple and Google. These companies bring a vast amount of knowledge and financial capability to the table and, as a result, are able to dip their toes into different industries and try out new and improved technologies with little risk. In this article, we will explore how these companies have begun to work themselves into the healthcare industry.
Amazon Web Services has recently launched a platform called Amazon Healthlake. Within the field of healthcare, there is a significant amount of inefficiency that slows down the delivery of healthcare, as well as wastes millions of dollars annually. Upon identifying a problem in the system, AWS created a solution. “Amazon HealthLake aims to collect an organization’s complete data across different siloes and varying formats into a centralized data lake, automatically standardizing the data using machine learning techniques. The service allows organizations to store, tag, index, standardize, query, and apply machine learning techniques to analyze data in the cloud.” The result of the service is that companies now have an option to more clearly and concisely bring together data and draw conclusions from their reports more easily. Due to Amazon’s financial position, this service can be rolled out rapidly and we will likely begin to see the impact of the service take place fairly quickly.
Apple, most obviously, dabbles in healthcare by creating a platform for other players in the field on its Apple AppStore. However, the tech giant also launched the Apple Watch in 2015 which gave its users the ability to track various health metrics from their own wrist. Apple Watch is part of Apple’s Healthcare platform which integrates its hardware into its software in an easily accessible way. The information that comes out of this sync up can also be given to healthcare professionals to give them further insight into a patient’s health.
Finally, Google is also dabbling in this area with their platform, Google Health. Google health is highly focused on research, particularly in machine learning and AI and their application to health. For example, Google is working on applying those techniques to reducing the risk of postpartum depression and breast cancer for women, as well as to prevent blindness. More recently, they are working on reducing the spread of misinformation as it relates to Covid-19 and the Covid-19 vaccine.
Tech giants are often a divisive topic – while some people admire them for the great changes they have brought and for the potential they have as well, others feel that they are dominating multiple markets and strongly dislike them. At the end of the day, however, many of these giants also support small businesses and startups and help them leverage their own technology to help them reach greater audiences. For this reason, it is interesting to look at giants with a sense of awe and hope that they use their positions to bring about positive change and improvements.