Artificial intelligence health care

How Google is a step ahead in the race to build health care AI

In this image, a phone screen with the Gmail logo is held in front of a large Google logo.
Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

The whole point of artificial-intelligence systems is that they can learn — but they still have to start somewhere. And the nascent field of health care AI is still focused on those early building blocks.

Where it stands: Google already has a leg up on some of its competitors, because of the data it already collects through search and Gmail, NPR reports.

Alexa, comply with HIPAA

In this image, a white Amazon Alexa sits next to a black one and a gray one on a wooden countertop.
Amazon Alexa Plus, on display. Photo: Grant Hindsley/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon's Alexa has now added some new functionalities that comply with HIPAA, the health care privacy law.

Why it matters: These applications themselves aren't particularly earth-shattering, but each new step Amazon takes into the health care system is worth paying attention to, given the company's very clear desire to break into health, and particularly the pharmacy supply chain.