- There will be an end to the Amazon Care employee health program.
- Due to its short lifespan and inadequacy as a service for the major enterprise clients we have been aiming for, the service will end on December 31.
- By acquiring One Medical and taking on Signify Health, Amazon has set itself up to provide in-person care.
The Amazon Care employee health program will be discontinued. Analysts contend that, despite it appearing as though the service’s closure is a setback for the corporation in its efforts to provide healthcare, they disagree.
Pilot projects helped Amazon learn from mistakes
According to Natalie Schibell, research director at Forrester Research, one of the key advantages of Amazon’s involvement in the healthcare sector over traditional healthcare facilities is its capacity to pause and examine difficulties and what may be done more effectively. When a project isn’t working out, it’s stopped, and the business regroups. She claimed that’s what Amazon is doing.
With its recently announced decision to acquire One Medical, a nationwide primary care company, as well as its bid on healthcare platform Signify Health, Amazon has shown its interest in shifting away from employee healthcare and going direct to consumer care and is grasping a “huge opportunity.
“They’re setting up for much bigger things. Employee health is small potatoes for them; now they’re going to provide primary care to the consumer,” Schibell said.
2019 saw the launch of Amazon Care, which provides virtual healthcare services, medication delivery, and in-person visits for some locations to its Seattle-based employees.
The service will be terminated on December 31 because it “wasn’t going to work long-term” and is “not a complete enough offering for the large enterprise customers we have been targeting,” according to an internal memo obtained by GeekWire on Wednesday.
Indeed, one of Amazon Care’s biggest problems was getting corporate customers, according to R “Ray” Wang, the company’s creator and chief analyst at Silicon Valley’s Constellation Research. Wang claimed that Amazon learned from the experience, nevertheless.
“The technology used for Amazon Care helped pilot a number of innovations they will use and reuse. They also learned what types of patients preferred what types of services and where the limits of telemedicine end and where you need to physically visit a physician,” Wang explained.
By discontinuing Amazon Care, the corporation is demonstrating that it is learning what works and what doesn’t, which is required of a “perennial innovator,” according to Kate McCarthy, senior director and healthcare analyst at Gartner.
“They don’t linger in spaces that aren’t working for long; they make them better,” she stated.
McCarthy claimed there is no proof that Amazon is attempting to leave the healthcare industry. As an alternative, she claimed that its recent actions for One Medical and Signify Health show seriousness about the “legitimate business of healthcare” and that they are “far more intentional about their investments.”
How Amazon will proceed in the healthcare sector
According to McCarthy of Gartner, Amazon is positioned itself to offer in-person treatment by purchasing One Medical and competing with Signify Health.
“As they move forward with One Medical, they’re adding a breadth and depth of services to their portfolio that brings them into communities, gives them physical presence, gives them clinics, gives them physicians,” she stated.
Forrester’s Schibell stated that she anticipates seeing Amazon forge a new path through a sector burdened by problems including rising healthcare costs and workforce shortages by entering the primary care arena.
According to McCarthy, the fact that healthcare isn’t as effective as it could be has led to the emergence of retail behemoths like Amazon, CVS, Walmart, and others with an “edge for innovation” to find the ideal product for both individuals and business clients.
“This is disrupting the model as we know it It’s less about that larger healthcare ecosystem disruption and more about how big does that segment [of retail businesses] decide to go with healthcare. I think we’re seeing real promise for the primary care of medicine for sure,” McCarthy said.
Signify Health is a key step for Amazon’s healthcare approach
Care at home rather than in a clinic is the main focus of Signify Health. According to Schibell, Amazon can integrate Signify Health with its AWS backbone to collect data from its services, such as medication delivery and devices like Amazon Halo, to provide a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s overall health.
“If you really want to get into primary care you have to have that holistic view. So, if they don’t acquire something like Signify Health, they’re going to go after another company. And there are lots of them that are doing it well,” Schibell explained.