Amazon Buying One Medical Marks Bigger Healthcare Push
Amazon is making a renewed push into the healthcare space with a $3.9 billion deal to buy the company behind One Medical. Amazon Buying One Medical Marks Bigger Healthcare Push
This is your tech news briefing for friday july 22nd, i’m zoe thomas for the wall street journal on thursday, amazon announced plans to buy onelife healthcare which operates a primary care practice under the name, one medical in major cities across the u.s. This is not amazon’s first foray into the medical space in 2019 it launched amazon care.
Originally, it was a service for amazon employees in washington, state and amazon, care’s telemedicine and urgent care health offering has slowly been expanding to employees of other companies, but this turn to medicine has been slow going for amazon with regulatory and other hurdles hubbling its typically speedy Entrance into a sector, so why is the e-commerce giant so focused on entering the medical space and how will this purchase help joining us to discuss this? Is our amazon reporter sebastian herrera, hey sebastian, thanks for joining us, hey thanks for having me amazon already.
Has amazon care now it’s going to be buying onelife healthcare, which has one medical? Why is it interested in buying one life health care and how does it fit into the medical offerings that amazon already has yeah, so amazon care really is only existed as a telehealth sort of urgent care service? It’S really imagined. As a you know, you can chat with someone online and they can send out a doctor to a health care provider to your home and also any medicine and that’s sort of been the limits of the service. And so with this purchase and getting one medical.
It primarily, it gives them to physical spaces, because one medical has more than 180 medical offices in the u.s, so that is already a big deal getting those physical locations, and it also potentially helps them expand into something more than just sort of urgent care services, something That looks more like a primary care long-term services, which is, i think, what any medical provider wants to get into.
They don’t just want those one-off visits, but those sort of long-term established relationships with patients. So this could potentially like really really like boost that effort and also just you know, get the more customers that they obviously need to expand, and so it’s sort of those different things that come into play by purchasing one medical, i mean that’s what it means for Amazon, what about for patients will this change, how patients get care, maybe immediately if they’re, a one medical user or overall, do we think they’ll be kind of a big sea change in how we get offerings once amazon decides to really get into the medical section.
i Think, at least initially it won’t change much the one medical ceo is still going to be there and it’s more like the whole foods relationship where it is going to be under amazon, but it’s supposed to be working uh sort of independently in a way um. I think they’re still figuring that some of that stuff out, but it’s not like amazon’s just totally taking over and rebranding the the service and all that, so i think for patients initially not much should change, of course that could um evolve over time.
Okay, maybe we can dive in a little bit more to the reasoning behind it, so obviously they’re hoping this deal works out for them. But why does amazon you know who everybody thinks of as kind of this e-commerce provider, maybe as a cloud provider or you know, if you’re a prime subscriber, a video provider, why do they want to be a medical provider as well? I think it has to deal with how big that industry is and some people i’ve referred to as like almost like a recession-proof sort of industry as well, and so amazon, it’s sort of looking for its next hit. It has aws. Advertising really seems to be sort of like that potential next hit as well.
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It’S not already becoming a hit, and i think what amazon has shown is that it’s comfortable diving into different spaces, seeing how it goes. It’S not afraid to take chances, and if it becomes a big deal for them, then then great, then they just sort of like expand. Their horizon are more. You know built for if there’s a recession or if one business isn’t doing it as good. This other business is doing great, and healthcare obviously is a potential to make a lot of money and just be the great connector to to different services already provides, but providing healthcare has kind of its own unique hurdles.
You know dealing with regulatory issues and privacy concerns. How does amazon plan to deal with those challenges? Yeah? I think those are like the big questions out there right now, because with this purchase, they are potentially going to get a troll of data from one medical and their customers and providers there’s already some buzz out there of regulatory concerns and how amazon uses data. I think people get scared with any big company that sort of has a lot of data on its hand.
I think amazon will tell you right now, there’s still like a really small and new player in this space. That’S really big old hard to figure out and success is by no means guaranteed, so i think there’s definitely questions out there of you know how amazon will use the data that it has it being such a big company. Amazon is really good at gathering data and using it to its benefit and using it to expand and even using it in deal making and as leverage for other businesses. And i assume the argument that they are still a new and smaller player and the medical space is also going to be their argument. If, if regulators raise any anti-trust concerns, we’re a big player, but we’re not that big in this industry exactly and that’s an argument. Amazon Buying One Medical Marks Bigger Healthcare Push
They’Ve made in the past, like with retail, every time that it’s brought in front of them, that they’re this dominant player in e-commerce and retail. They sort of cite figures that oh, but if you compare us to global overall retail, including you know, physical locations are actually like, really small, that’s sort of their argument, but yeah, that’s certainly a position that you could see them taking if they’re not already taking right. Now, all right, that’s our reporter sebastian herrera thanks so much for joining us sebastian. Thank you and that’s it for tech news briefing this week our producer is julie. Chang we had editorial support from scott salloway.
We had production assistants from ariana os peru. Our supervising producer is chris sinsley. Our executive producer is kateri yocum and i’m your host zoe thomas thanks for listening and have a great weekend. you: Amazon Buying One Medical Marks Bigger Healthcare Push