The "Amazon-ing" of America’s health care system continued late Wednesday when the e-commerce giant announced it purchased health care startup, Health Navigator.
This deal is a complimentary move to Amazon’s announcement last month that it will provide some Seattle employees and their families a new app called Amazon Care, which provides users with access to health professionals over video chat and text. Health Navigator provides diagnoses and treatments on its digital platform.
For years Amazon has been eyeing the $3.7 trillion health care industry. The trade publication, Health IT & CIO Report, wrote last year that “announcements by the e-commerce giant in 2018 make it clear that it's planning to make a big splash in healthcare.”
No announcement made a bigger splash than the news released in January 2018, when Amazon, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase formed a joint health care company called Haven. The three companies said Haven would focus on better primary care access, simpler insurance benefits and more affordable prescription drugs for their employees.
Other recent developments include:
> Amazon launching an exclusive line of 60 over-the-counter healthcare products, called Basic Care
> Amazon buys online pharmacy PillPack for $1 billion placing the online giant squarely against drugstore chains, drug distributors and pharmacy benefit managers.
> Amazon files for a patent for Alexa, its virtual assistant, which would detect when a user is sick and recommend and sell medications.
> Aurohealth, a maker of generic pharmaceuticals, teams up with Amazon for an exclusive over-the-counter pharmaceuticals brand called Primary Health.
Most health industry watchers, such as global consultancy, Huron contend that by “applying its mission statement, to be earth’s most customer-centric company, Amazon can transform the patient experience and the way care is delivered.”