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Table of contents
Working of Amazon HealthLake
Security in Amazon HealthLake
Data Protection in Amazon HealthLake
Encryption at Rest for Amazon HealthLake
AWS Owned KMS key
Customer Managed KMS keys
Tagging Using HealthLake Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a data lake in healthcare?
Who uses data lake?
What is AmCare Amazon?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Amazon HealthLake

Author soham Medewar
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Amazon HealthLake is a HIPAA-compliant service that allows healthcare practitioners, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical firms to store, process, query, and analyze enormous amounts of health data.

Health information is usually insufficient and unreliable. It's also frequently unstructured, including doctor notes, lab results, insurance claims, medical photographs, recorded conversations, and time-series data containing information.


HealthLake allows healthcare providers to store, process, query, and analyze data in the AWS Cloud. You may analyze unstructured clinical material from many sources using the HealthLake integrated medical natural language processing (NLP) capabilities. HealthLake uses natural language processing methods to convert unstructured data and delivers robust query and search capabilities. HealthLake can help you organize, index, and arrange patient data in a safe, compliant, and auditable manner.

Working of Amazon HealthLake


Amazon HealthLake maintains health records in FHIR-compliant format. The Amazon HealthLake console, AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), or APIs may be used to conduct the following tasks:

🟢Make, manage, and destroy a Data Store.

🟣Import data into the Data Store from an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket.

🟢Use the Create, Read, Update, and Delete methods to query data.

🟣Utilize the FHIR search capabilities.

🟢Utilize integrated medical natural language processing to transform your data (NLP).

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Security in Amazon HealthLake


AWS prioritizes cloud security above anything else. As an AWS client, you have access to a data center and network architecture designed to fulfill the needs of the most security-conscious enterprises.

AWS and you share responsibility for security. The shared responsibility paradigm defines this as security of the cloud and security in the cloud:

Security of the cloud The AWS cloud's security is in charge of safeguarding the infrastructure that supports AWS services on the AWS Cloud. AWS also offers services that can be used securely. As part of the AWS Compliance Programs, third-party auditors examine and verify the effectiveness of our security on a regular basis. See AWS Services in Scope by Compliance Program to learn more about the compliance programs that apply to HealthLake.
Security in the cloud The AWS service you use determines your responsibility. Other things to consider include the sensitivity of your data, your company's requirements, and applicable laws and regulations.

Data Protection in Amazon HealthLake


Amazon HealthLake uses the AWS shared responsibility architecture for data protection. According to this paradigm, AWS is responsible for protecting the global infrastructure that powers the whole AWS Cloud. You are responsible for keeping control of your content hosted on our infrastructure. This section contains security configuration and management activities for the AWS services you utilize.

Following are the ways to secure your data:

📗With each account, use multi-factor authentication (MFA).

📘To communicate with AWS resources, use SSL/TLS. TLS 1.2 or later is recommended.

📗Set up API and user activity logging with AWS CloudTrail.

📘Use AWS encryption solutions in conjunction with all AWS service default security measures.

📗Use advanced managed security services, such as Amazon Macie, to help find and secure personal data stored in Amazon S3.

📘Use a FIPS endpoint if you need FIPS 140-2 verified cryptographic modules when accessing AWS via a command-line interface or an API. See Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 for further information on the available FIPS endpoints.

Encryption at Rest for Amazon HealthLake

HealthLake uses a service-owned AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) key to encrypt sensitive customer data at rest by default. KMS keys managed by the customer are also supported and required for both exporting and importing files from a Data Store. When building a Data Store, customers have the option of using an AWS-owned KMS key or a Customer-managed KMS key. After a Data Store has been created, the encryption configuration cannot be altered. If a Data Store uses an AWS-owned KMS Key, it will be identified as AWS OWNED KMS KEY, and the specific key used for encryption at rest will not be visible.

AWS Owned KMS key

By default, HealthLake uses these keys to automatically encrypt potentially sensitive data at rest, such as personally identifiable or Private Health Information (PHI). Your account does not contain any AWS-owned KMS keys. They are part of a pool of KMS keys owned and managed by AWS for use across various AWS accounts. To protect your data, AWS services can employ AWS-owned KMS keys. You cannot access, manage, or utilize AWS-owned KMS keys, nor can you audit their usage. However, you don't need to do anything or update any programs to preserve the keys that encrypt your data.

Customer Managed KMS keys

To add a second layer of encryption above the existing AWS-owned encryption, HealthLake enables the use of a symmetric customer-managed KMS key that you produce, own, and administer. Because you have complete control over this layer of encryption, you can do things like:

📔Developing and implementing important policies, IAM policies, and grants

📘Rotating key cryptographic material

📔Activating and deactivating essential policies

📘Including tags

📔Developing important aliases

📘Scheduling the deletion of keys

Tagging Using HealthLake Resources

Tags can be used to assign metadata to your AWS resources. Each tag is a label that contains a user-defined key and value. Tags can assist you in managing, identifying, organizing, searching for, and filtering materials.

Each tag is made up of two parts:

🟡A key tag (for example, CostCenter, Environment, or Project). Case matters when it comes to tag keys.

🟡A value tag(for example, 111122223333 or Production). Tag values, like tag keys, are case-sensitive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a data lake in healthcare?

A data lake is a strong architecture that has the potential to improve healthcare by serving as a centralized repository for organized, semi-structured, variable-format, internal, and external data.

Who uses data lake?

A data lake serves as a central repository for data scientists and analysts to locate, prepare, and analyze relevant data. That process is more difficult without one. It is also more difficult for firms to fully utilize their data assets to generate better-informed business decisions and strategies.

What is AmCare Amazon?

Amazon provides workers with on-site emergency clinics known as AmCare. Employees can go to those facilities, which have licensed emergency medical technicians and accident prevention specialists on staff, and get treated faster without having to travel off-site.


In this article, we have discussed the following topics:

  • Working of Amazon HealthLake
  • Security in Amazon HealthLake
  • Data Protection in Amazon HealthLake
  • Encryption at rest for Amazon HealthLake
  • Tagging using HealthLake resources

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