Last week Amazon announced plans to buy One Life Healthcare which operates primary healthcare practice under the name of ‘One medical’ across major cities in the U.S. This is not Amazon’s first foray into medical space; in 2019 it launched Amazon care. Originally this was meant to be a service for Amazon employees in Washington State. Amazon care’s telemedicine and urgent care health offering has slowly been expanding to employees of other companies.
Amazon’s investments in healthcare have been going very slow till now due to regulatory and other hurdles. Since One medical has more than 180 offices over the U.S, this will give Amazon actual physical locations to operate from. This will also give Amazon access to already existing patients and patient data from the One Medical database.
For patients however, there won’t be any drastic change in the services of One medical. Amazon is planning to make big investments in healthcare since this is a recession proof industry and also due to how big this market is globally. Amazon is looking for its next big hit product after AWS and advertising and Amazon is taking a chance once again by investing in healthcare. Healthcare is also seen by Amazon as a good connecter to other services it provides already.
With this purchase of One medical, Amazon has acquired a ton of patient data which has also led to regulatory and privacy concerns. Patients are concerned about their private health records being used by Amazon without their consent. Questions remain on how Amazon will use this data for its benefit, using data to expand its operations and also in deal making as leverage for other businesses.