Amazon just scored big to bring in some talent to its secret health care division that's internally known as 1492. According to CNBC, FDA's first chief health informatics officer Taha Kass-Hout has been hired by Amazon. He will reportedly be working under former Google X director Babak Parviz in a business development role. Currently, it's a mystery as to what that role entails since the division is a secret, after all. Based on Kass-Hout's previous jobs, CNBC believes that he might be helping Amazon conjure up a way for people to gain easier access to health records.
When looking at Kass-Hout's LinkedIn profile, it describes him as a “physician executive empowering consumers via sustainable health data ecosystems.” Taking a look at his last job, it lists him as SVP/Chief Digital Health and Intelligence Officer at Michigan's Trinity Health. Kass-Houts was FDA's health informatics head for three years from 2013 to 2016, and before that, he worked for the CDC in the same capacity.
We've heard of other tech companies like Apple that are developing ways to make it easier to access medical records, Amazon could potentially be working on a similar project. CNBC notes that medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in the US. Being able to quickly get a person's medical records could mean the difference between life and death for the patient.
If Amazon were to launch a new health hardware division, for example, Kass-Hout could potentially help Amazon with the regulatory process. Either way, it looks like Amazon is up to something and is working on a potentially big project. We'll just have to wait and see what this project is.