Amazon on ViVE highlights healthcare goals after One Medical deal

Amazon executives said on Tuesday they are excited to move forward with healthcare despite potential challenges in the sector.

“Amazon is approaching this with great humility,” said Amazon Clinic Chief Medical Officer and General Manager Dr. Nvorah Ayogu at ViVE, a digital health conference held in Nashville, Tennessee. “Companies are no strangers to working in tough industries and improving them. Twenty years ago, there was no two-day delivery or easy return in retail.”

Related: How Amazon built its healthcare strategy from Haven to One Medical

The company has hired healthcare veterans such as Ayoga, who served as the founding medical director of CityBlock Health, and Vice President of Health Aaron Martin, former chief digital officer at Providence.

“We get health care, its intricacies and difficulties,” Ayogu said.

Amazon is aggressively pushing its healthcare solution even after a series of misses. The company’s healthcare joint venture with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway was dissolved in January 2021. In August 2022, she closed her Amazon Care service, which has contracts with employers and health plans to provide virtual care.

In November 2022, the company launched Amazon Clinic, a consumer-facing “virtual health store” that connects users to third-party telehealth providers through which patients can access a variety of treatments focused on skin conditions, sexual health, and other clinical needs. . .

Ayogu, who took over the service after working at Amazon Pharmacy, said early results were positive.

The platform, available in 33 states, works with three virtual medical providers: HealthTap, SteadyMD and Alpha Medical. Ayogu said that, just as Amazon connects online shoppers with third-party retailers, he hopes the service will connect patients with more third-party doctors and organizations.

“We have received a lot of interest from many telemedicine companies… but at the same time, we have a strict process that our partners must go through before being listed on the platform,” Ayogu said. “We want to make sure they have the high clinical quality and customer experience that people expect from Amazon.”

The company also completed the acquisition of primary care provider One Medical in February after the Federal Trade Commission refused to block the deal.

Amazon Clinic, One Medical, and Amazon Pharmacy are all part of the company’s overall healthcare strategy to make it easier for people to access healthcare or medicine, Ayogu said.

AWS is reaching out to the healthcare workforce

Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud computing subsidiary, is also trying to make inroads into healthcare, said David Levy, AWS vice president of healthcare, US government and nonprofits.

At ViVE, the cloud provider announced 23 startups participating in its accelerator aimed at solving healthcare workforce challenges. Over the course of five weeks, leaders from 23 startups will learn how to improve their cloud architecture, business model, and regulation.

“We hear from a lot of organizations that need help developing their workforce,” Levy said. “We want to help organizations learn cloud skills and work with them to solve their problems.”

This is especially true as healthcare systems move from physical servers to the cloud. Levy said AWS is working with healthcare providers to train their employees on how to improve organizational efficiency with the cloud. For example, AWS worked with Southern Illinois Healthcare in Carbondale, Illinois to build an automated text-based survey engine that provides management with the data they need to evaluate potential burnout.

Part of the goal of AWS is to work with healthcare organizations at a deeper level than just offering them a cloud platform, Levy said. The subsidiary has previously launched accelerators to promote equity in health and care for people aged 65 and over.

“We put our customers first and think very carefully about what they are trying to achieve,” Levy said. “We’re trying to help them with that.”

This story first appeared in Digital Health Business & Technology.

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