Over the past several years, the healthcare industry has taken impressive strides to improve health outcomes: Unpacking the value drivers of personalization; organizing customer and clinical data; making advances in insights-based creative development; and adopting technology platforms for personalized marketing. But these advances have been functionally and organizationally siloed across agencies, data companies, and research and technology firms. Amazon has been one of the first serious entrants, and one of the few companies that can lead the transformation to a deeply complex marketplace.
Their entrance has taken them on a path filled with new health initiatives and various investments, including the acquisition of PillPack, partnerships with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, bringing on Atul Gawande to lead the healthcare venture, and introducing medical language processing with Amazon Comprehend Medical product, among others.
Their application of technology and retail innovations to advance and improve the future of healthcare makes sense. Being a technology-first company that approaches complex problems in unorthodox ways, they’ve had the ability to apply digital devices and data toward creating better health outcomes for patients. By combining their data, assets, and partnerships with their AWS footprint and corporate ethos, they’re in an unmatched position to radically change healthcare. This will create new demand for the use of programmatic health technologies to connect with and engage patients in a personalized way, using data in real-time. This is what the healthcare space lacks, and what companies like Amazon are solving for.
Given the U.S. healthcare industry is $3 trillion annually, it’s also no surprise that we’re starting to see their competitors follow suit. Recent news of the Microsoft/Walgreens and CVS/Aetna deals encompass a range of healthcare initiatives as companies grapple with Amazon’s looming presence in healthcare. And these are only a few examples of the many M&A deals we’ve seen in the last year, as the market consolidates and technology companies become increasingly focused on the market opportunity and challenges healthcare presents. 2019 will see more exciting advancements in technology drive healthcare solutions that will reshape the future of a broken system.