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Taha Kass-Hout, MD, MS

Senior Leader Health Care and Artificial Intelligence
Taha A. Kass-Hout, MD, MS is a senior leader at Amazon focusing on health care and AI-related initiatives, including Amazon Comprehend Medical. The expansion of AWS Comprehend into medicine is the first health care-specific machine learning service offered by AWS. Taha has a successful track record over the past two decades pioneering in health care and life sciences, digital health, big data, open science, precision medicine, crowdsourcing, and cloud. He served as the first Chief Health Informatics Officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (2013-2016). During that time, he created multiple innovations, including openFDA and precisionFDA. OpenFDA is a big data cloud platform that provides open source Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enabling a large community of software developers, researchers, scientists, and the public to search and analyze adverse events, recalls, and labeling for most medical products in the market. PrecisionFDA is the bioinformatics cloud platform for ensuring the accuracy of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) genetic tests by crowdsourcing reference material and data, and part of President Obama’s 2015 Precision Medicine Initiative. Both platforms were referenced in the 2015 White House updated Strategy for American Innovation, and precisionFDA was awarded the top prize at the 2016 Bio-IT World Best Practices. Taha spearheaded groundbreaking programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for electronic disease surveillance and early disease detection, including BioSense 2.0 (2009-2013), and at InSTEDD (founded by Google, Inc. in 2006) where he led the automated early warning and response for natural disasters and pandemics (2006-2009). In 2010, the Thomson Reuter Foundation used InSTEDD’s cloud platform to launch a first-of-its kind, free disaster-information service for the people of Port Au Prince, Haiti after a devastating earthquake there. He also served as the SVP and Chief Digital Health and Analytics Officer at Trinity Health (2016 2017), one of the leaders in value-based health care systems in the U.S. and advised the American Heart Association, where he was an integral part of the development of AHA’s Precision Medicine cloud platform. Taha received his medical training at Harvard's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and holds a Doctor of Medicine and a Master of Science (Biostatistics) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.