Move Over, Amazon is Here
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Move Over, Amazon is Here

It’s all happening fast, and well. That’s how Jeff Bezos does it. No longer should anyone wonder whether Amazon might move and move rapidly into and through broad swaths of the healthcare industry. There are clear directions now, and more still to come that this is Amazon’s next frontier.

It doesn’t take a genius to see the needs for reform of America’s healthcare industry; they have been obvious for decades. But it does take a genius to imagine and orchestrate effective and powerful strategies that will save money, improve delivery, and, ultimately, provide vastly better and lower-cost outcomes for all segments of the population.

There is much more to come, but we are now seeing the early marks of Bezos’ planned and sweeping entry. Just a little while ago, Amazon announced its collaboration with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to imagine and institute new strategies for addressing ever-rising employee health benefit costs. By selecting Atul Gawande, a true genius in the field (and a MacArthur Genius to boot), Bezos and company will soon lay out new, imaginative and lower cost healthcare delivery strategies and realities.

Concurrently, Bezos is partnering with Merck. Capitalizing on Alexa’s omnipresence in America and the advent of new and improved machine learning and voice technologies, the Merck partnership is laying the groundwork for Bezos and Amazon to focus as well on helping folks improve the management of their own health challenges at home.

And, only today, Amazon announced its intention to shake up the huge drug delivery business, not good news for CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens, all of whom have been pumping big dollars into their home delivery programs. Acquiring little known PillPack, an online company that imaginatively addresses an older population’s needs for management of multiple prescriptions, Bezos can be expected to change an entire industry’s approach to prescription delivery and management. If anyone can take this company to scale and capitalize on a gaping need of our large and growing aged population, Bezos can do it.

Stay tuned. We are seeing only the tip of the iceberg.

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.

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