Amazon is Coming to a Doctor Near You

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Amazon is Coming to a Doctor Near You

⯀ Many anticipate, and hope, that the healthcare collaboration of Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway will lead to lower costs to the consumer and improve customer satisfaction. While these industry giants have not yet revealed their exact plans, speculations are running rampant. Amazon has a long, and successful, tradition of disrupting industries.

The possible ways Amazon could disrupt healthcare are nearly endless and an exciting moment in US healthcare history.

Alexa

You can already ask Alexa about organic ingredients, such as carrageenan, listed on labels to maximize your healthy eating habits. When Amazon enters the healthcare market even further, you can expect even more options with your Alexa and Echo devices. One possibility includes scheduling doctor’s appointments through your Alexa rather than having to phone the office directly. Another is to have virtual house calls through your Echo. The voice-activated services will make the lives of patients and medical professionals significantly better.

Chronic Diseases

Amazon has been exploring health care in a variety of capacities. They have been looking into diabetes health management and cardiovascular, as well as having spent countless hours on additional research in healthcare segments. Some speculate they could approach the prevention of diabetes as a starting point or focus on people with uncontrolled hypertension. They could even throw their weight behind cancer prevention and treatments. Or, they might go in a different direction such as orthopedics.


The overall customer experience is highly likely to be transformed regardless of the way in which they enter the industry. People will be able to leave reviews about products and sellers to increase accountability from existing industry professionals and businesses. Their artificial intelligence experience could allow them to provide a medical diagnosis without ever leaving the house. This will save customers thousands of dollars in medical bills and missed work, as well as improve preventative health care.

Medical Equipment and Supplies

With licenses to distribute medical supplies in 43 states already obtained, it is highly plausible that Amazon will tackle the medical equipment and supply sales in a larger capacity. You can already buy various equipment and supplies on their website; however, in the future, it is likely product offerings will be more expansive. Some examples might include MRI machines, operating lamps and more. They will even provide equipment and supplies to dentists. Amazon is already working to educate medical professionals on the existing products they can buy from their business site to save anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars a year on items such as rubber gloves, dental bibs, syringes, gauze and surgical gowns.

Medical Professionals

Just like the customer, medical professionals will reap the benefits of Amazon entering the industry. The overall goal of Amazon in this industry is to reduce costs. This includes to the patient and to medical professionals. As a result, they will give medical professionals the ability to focus more on care and less on administration bureaucracy. They will be able to help more patients through virtual home visits. And, they will be able to stay connected and follow up with their patients more easily with access to long-term patient records being available with the touch of a button.

Pharmacy Transformations

Due to the fact that Amazon now owns Whole Foods, many believe that a logical step will be to open pharmacy retail locations inside Whole Foods. The concept would be ideal for those who focus on preventative care and more holistic approaches paired with Western medicine. Amazon will most certainly provide price transparency with their prescriptions. And, they might even use benefit pharmacy managers to reduce prices and increase options including their own line of over-the-counter medicines.


Regardless of the way Amazon enters the healthcare market, they have many companies nervous and nearly everyone else thrilled for the possibilities of a more affordable and better healthcare industry. Whether they start with pharmacies or incorporate voice activation health care, the healthcare world is about to be disrupted.



By  Lindsey Patterson

Author Bio - Lindsey is a freelance writer specializing in business and consumer technology.