Thoughts on Amazon's journey into Healthcare
1) JPMorgan/Amazon/Berkshire deal - gives Amazon patient/user experience, access to big data sets and the opportunity to test and learn in one market in healthcare, employee health. Also only employees in the US, not globally.
"The initial focus of the new company will be on technology solutions that will provide U.S. employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent health care at a reasonable costs."
AC Wellness Network - Apple is doing something very similar launching a network of medical clinics for its employees and their families, in what could be a way for the tech company to test out its broader ambitions in healthcare.
Conclusion : this is Amazon's first step in delivering healthcare with its partners, they are part of a JV so not 100% liable and responsible :) Opportunity to learn the challenges of healthcare provision, complexities of reporting, interoperability etc..
2) Amazon-Cerner partnership - big rumour Amazon are going to partner with Cerner, one of the largest EPR providers in the world.
"Cerner's HealtheIntent platform facilitates the gathering and retrieval of and access to patient electronic records (EHRs) including prescriptions to facilitate their analysis by hospitals and healthcare professionals, thereby reducing the cost and improving upon the outcome of treatment while also taking care of insurance claims. Through Amazon's AWS platform, Cerner intends to deliver these services along with Amazon's advanced analytics at greater speeds to large healthcare organizations that operate on a bigger scale and across geographies."
Conclusion : Amazon are partnering again to learn about healthcare, this time in the collection, recording and use of medical data. Opportunity to learn how data flows through the healthcare system from primary to secondary to community care etc..
3) Whole Foods acquisition - acquiring Whole Foods appears to be the only exception to date in Amazon's partnership strategy, probably because the incumbents saw them as competition and did not want to work with them.
Whole Foods gives Amazon a platform in both healthcare and pharma to apply their retail experience and eCommerce expertise and conveniently test "omni channel strategies' offline and online. This could be a major advantage, no one else really has the opportunity to do this.
Conclusion : Medication and Prescriptions appear to be a perfect fit for Amazon Prime for example, quick delivery of medical drugs to your home or office will no doubt build loyalty with customers and "lock in" a lot of people into the developing Amazon ecosystem.
Looking into the Future
I think the bigger picture is Amazon are smart to partner their way into both healthcare and pharma, they can take their time to learn the markets, understand how to apply their technology, supply chain expertise, customer service and logistics knowledge etc..
Let's continue the discussion, email email@example.com :)