AWS, Cloud Computing

3 Mins Read

Transforming Healthcare with Amazon Comprehend Medical

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In the dynamic landscape of healthcare and life sciences, digitizing medical records, research papers, and patient information has created an immense pool of unstructured data. While potentially invaluable for medical research, patient care, and operational efficiency, this wealth of information often remains underutilized due to its complexity and sheer volume. In this era of big data, finding innovative solutions to unlock the insights hidden within healthcare data has become a paramount concern for medical professionals and technology enthusiasts. 


Amazon Comprehend Medical, a product launched by Amazon Web Services (AWS), is poised to revolutionize the healthcare sector. Amazon Comprehend Medical is a cloud-based, machine learning service that uses NLP to extract and comprehend medical information from unstructured text.

It can analyze vast volumes of medical records, such as doctors’ notes, clinical trial reports, and patient records, to identify and extract relevant information. The primary goal is to make medical data more accessible, structured, and actionable, ultimately improving patient care, research outcomes, and operational efficiency.

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Extracting Insights from Unstructured Data

The volume of medical data generated daily is staggering, and much of it is unstructured. Electronic Health Records (EHRs), handwritten notes, radiology reports, and clinical studies contain valuable information. However, this data is often trapped in a format that makes it difficult to mine for insights. This is where Amazon Comprehend Medical comes into play. It can transform unstructured text into structured data, making it easier to extract valuable insights.

Privacy and Security

Handling medical data requires high security and compliance with regulatory standards. Amazon Comprehend Medical has robust security and privacy measures to protect sensitive information. It is designed to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States and similar data protection regulations in other countries.

Amazon Web Services also provides various tools and services to help organizations build secure and compliant applications, ensuring that patient data remains confidential and protected.

Real-World Applications

  1. Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI): Amazon Comprehend Medical helps healthcare providers improve the accuracy and completeness of clinical documentation. This enhances patient care and has financial implications, as accurate documentation is crucial for proper billing and reimbursement.
  2. Medical Coding Automation: Medical coding is a labor-intensive process that classifies medical diagnoses and procedures for billing and insurance purposes. Amazon Comprehend Medical can automate this process, reducing errors and accelerating billing procedures.
  3. Disease Detection and Surveillance: Amazon Comprehend Medical can analyze clinical records and reports to detect disease outbreaks or unusual patterns, enabling early intervention and public health response.
  4. Medication Management: The service can assist healthcare providers in ensuring that patients receive the correct medications by identifying potential drug interactions or allergies.
  5. Clinical Trials Optimization: Researchers can use Amazon Comprehend Medical to identify suitable candidates for clinical trials, streamline the recruitment process, and enhance the chances of successful trial outcomes.

Steps to Create an AWS Lambda Function Using Amazon Comprehend Medical

In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the steps to create an AWS Lambda function that utilizes Amazon Comprehend Medical to analyze and extract medical information from unstructured text data.


  1. An AWS account with the necessary AWS IAM permissions.
  2. Basic familiarity with AWS Lambda and Amazon Comprehend Medical.

Step 1: Setting Up the AWS Lambda Function

  • Open the AWS Management Console and navigate to AWS Lambda.
  • Click on the “Create function”
  • Choose “Author from scratch” and fill in the function name, runtime, and execution role. Ensure that the role has the necessary permissions to access Amazon Comprehend Medical. You can create a new role or use an existing one.
  • Once the function is created, you can write the AWS Lambda function code. Below is a basic example in Python:
  • Extract medical information from the provided text.
  • Extract relevant information from the Comprehend Medical response.
  • You can now process or store the extracted medical entities

For this example, we’ll return them to the AWS Lambda response

Step 2: Testing the AWS Lambda Function

  • You can test your AWS Lambda function in the AWS Lambda console. Click on “Test” and create a test event with a JSON payload that includes the “text” field. For example:
  • Execute the test, and you should receive a response with extracted medical entities.

AWS Lambda function leverages Amazon Comprehend Medical to extract medical information from unstructured text. This is a basic example, and you can extend it to fit your specific use cases, such as integrating with databases, storage, or other AWS services.


Amazon Comprehend Medical is a powerful tool that can usher in a new era of healthcare. Its ability to extract insights from unstructured medical data, provide clinical decision support, and accelerate medical research is a testament to the potential of AI and machine learning in the healthcare industry. As it continues to be adopted and refined, we can expect Comprehend Medical to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare for the better. It’s an exciting time for the industry, where data-driven insights are poised to revolutionize patient care and medicine.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Amazon Comprehend Medical and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. How is Amazon Comprehend Medical priced?

ANS: – Amazon Comprehend Medical is a paid service, and pricing typically depends on the volume of text processed and the specific features used. Users are billed based on usage, and detailed pricing information can be found on the AWS website.

2. Can Amazon Comprehend Medical handle multiple languages?

ANS: – Yes, Amazon Comprehend Medical supports multiple languages, making it suitable for analyzing medical texts in various languages, not just English. This multilingual capability allows it to be used in a more diverse healthcare context.

WRITTEN BY Aehteshaam Shaikh

Aehteshaam Shaikh is working as a Research Associate - Data & AI/ML at CloudThat. He is passionate about Analytics, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Cloud Computing and is eager to learn new technologies.



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