As Amazon moves into health care, here’s what we know — and what we suspect — about its plans
- Amazon is already making moves in health care.
- It’s no longer speculation at this point.
- Here’s what the company’s hiring and product development roadmap points to for the future.
What we know
- The company is already selling medical supplies and equipment to clinics and hospitals, and it is looking to build out that business. As CNBC reported, Amazon forged key partnerships years ago with some of the largest U.S. distributors, like Cardinal Health, and it has applied for the necessary state-by-state licenses.
- Its cloud business, AWS, is pitching its services to health-care customers and competing head-on with MicrosoftAzure and Alphabet’s Google Cloud. It recently put out a job listing for an employee to network with top health investors in a bid to build relationships with health start-ups early in their lifecycle.
- It is planning to take on the problem of rising employee health-benefits costs. The company announced a partnershipwith P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to strategize how to rethink health care for their 1.2 million combined workers. The search for a CEO to lead that effort is still underway.
- Amazon sees the potential to bring voice technologies into the home, as well as the hospital and clinic. It has partnered with Merck for a “challenge” to inspire Alexa developers to create “skills” to help people with diabetes manage their condition. And that’s just the beginning. Hospitals across the country are experimenting with Alexa for things like helping surgeons create check lists or sharing vital important with patients once they get discharged. (Amazon has in the past declined to comment on these reports.)