With the acquisition of One Medical, an employer-focussed healthcare provider with physical network of clinics across the United States, Amazon’s customer-obsession is coming to healthcare.
Why it matters
American healthcare is a colossal business worth around $4 trillion. It is also ripe for innovation with its fiendish complexity – Amazon’s scale and data prowess mean this is a significant opportunity for the retailer to come in and reinvent an incredibly complicated system.
It’s worth saying that it’s not Amazon’s first rodeo, having struggled to get a partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan off the ground amid broader issues. This time around it has gone after expertise – it will keep One Medical’s existing CEO in place – and footprint.
First reported by the Wall Street Journal, Amazon’s $3.9 billion purchase of the healthcare firm is a good indication of where the retail giant plans to take healthcare.
A provider of health benefits, mostly through employers, One Medical provides both in-person and virtual care (laying the foundations for a major expansion of Amazon’s existing, but difficult to expand Care telehealth service).
One Medical is pitched heavily towards employers looking to offer flexibility through virtual appointments with the option to escalate to the network of physical clinics.
“We think health care is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention.” - Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services, in a press statement.
“We love inventing to make what should be easy easier and we want to be one of the companies that helps dramatically improve the healthcare experience over the next several years.”