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The agreement between Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce is good news for medical professionals and their patients, because having more information at hand potentially aids speedy diagnosis and treatment. If the promised efficiencies materialize, there may even be savings on the horizon.
The openness of the standards is also very good news for the future competitiveness of the health care IT market, because it should lower the barriers to entry for companies that aren’t at the scale that these giants currently enjoy.
But the deal is also clearly good for its signatories, not only because it expands their potential markets, but because it will help feed their artificial intelligence ambitions. More data, if properly wrangled, translates to smarter AI.
And the companies need smarter AI. Consider the case of IBM and its marquee Watson system, which was recently the subject of quite the takedown by the Wall Street Journal. It turns out that more than a dozen clients and partners have scaled down or ended their experiments with using Watson in cancer treatment.
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