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What happens when a logistics company tackles healthcare issues?
By Katie King Posted on October 6, 2020

Just as Amazon facilitates the movement of information and goods from origin to destination, it has inserted itself into almost every process in the healthcare system from medication delivery to life insurance coverage to food supply. With multiple touch points and target demographics, this tech behemoth is saturating the system but has yet to cause huge disruptive waves. So what happens next?

Amazon has given practically zero indication of its long-term strategy in the healthcare space. Its market clout, computing infrastructure, and customer base suggest it’s looking to capitalize on the decentralization of care. In other words, it’s looking to meet customers like patients and providers where they are.

Amazon has fashioned its existing technology to fill gaps in care at home. It’s also focused on coverage, moving into the pharmacy space and leveraging its status as a jumbo employer to improve the employer-sponsored health insurance system.

For patients, Amazon is a brand they know and trust—although notably not as much as they reportedly trust other tech companies like Apple. But the ability to connect multiple points of patients’ lives, including where they grocery shop and seek care, positions Amazon as a type of wellbeing coordinator.

What’s unique about Amazon’s strategy is that it has attached itself to existing siloes in the healthcare system—with the next step of solving problems from the inside out. The tech giant is betting that its non-traditional business model will create solutions and products addressing efficiency and transparency issues.

Amazon’s diverse healthcare movements make it difficult to follow where the tech giant will head next. With stakes in the ground at multiple points along the supply chain and partnerships with very different stakeholders, it looks like Amazon is targeting two large issues in the current healthcare system: cost of coverage and health outcomes. How Amazon will try to connect the two remains to be seen.

In the final installment of a four-part health tech series, we tracked Amazon’s insurance, care delivery and data-focused healthcare moves over the past decade (2010-2020). Click here to view.

Katie King Vice President, Health Policy & Strategy, The Council Read More

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