Dr. Amazon Will See You Now: Online Retail Giant to Acquire Healthcare Services Company

Amazon announced last month it plans to acquire One Medical

Ed Tobias avatar

by Ed Tobias |

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Are you ready to buy your healthcare services from the same place you can buy almost everything else under the sun? Amazon hopes you are.

Last month, the giant of online sales announced plans to acquire One Medical, a company that operates more than 125 medical offices across the U.S. and offers 24/7 telemedicine service in exchange for a yearly membership fee. One Medical’s vision is to “delight millions of members with better health and better care while reducing the total cost of care,” according to an Amazon press release about the acquisition.

Those at Amazon think healthcare needs to be reinvented.

“Booking an appointment, waiting weeks or even months to be seen, taking time off work, driving to a clinic, finding a parking spot, waiting in the waiting room then the exam room for what is too often a rushed few minutes with a doctor, then making another trip to a pharmacy — we see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days,” Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, said.

The One Medical venture appears to be an expansion of Amazon Care, which was launched in September 2019, primarily for app-based doctor appointments and a limited number of in-person services. The company hoped to have Amazon Care available in more than 20 U.S. cities by the end of this year.

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Not Amazon’s first healthcare effort

In January 2018, Amazon joined JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to launch a program called Haven that aimed to make healthcare easier to obtain, prescription drugs more affordable, and insurance benefits easier to understand. Amazon tried out the idea on its own employees for a few years, but the experiment was unsuccessful and it was dumped last year. But Amazon began offering something else in the healthcare field called Amazon Pharmacy, which provides discount medications on its website.

Amazon isn’t the only player

CVS is reportedly looking into expanding the healthcare services it provides as well. MinuteClinics have provided basic healthcare services inside CVS pharmacies for a number of years. Now, according to The Wall Street Journal, the pharmacy chain may soon make a bid to buy Signify Health, a company that provides technology services for the home healthcare industry.

Would you use Dr. Amazon?

Have you ever used a MinuteClinic? Would you? Would you be likely to use Amazon Care? Does the fact that you live with multiple sclerosis weigh into that decision? Let us know by dropping a comment below or starting a thread in our MS News Today Forums. You’re also invited to visit my personal blog at www.themswire.com.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Comments

Reginald E Bavis. avatar

Reginald E Bavis.

I live in Canada and experience a long wait at my family doctor in fact at present do not have a family doctor and have very little contact with a neurologist, I would be interested in hearing further about this

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Reginald,

I'm sorry for the problems you've been having. So far, the healthcare company Amazon hopes to acquire only operates in the U.S. But, I'll continue to follow this topic and plan to post additional columns about it as new developments arise.

Ed

Reply
Carlen Dupler avatar

Carlen Dupler

I would certainly add Amazon Care to the possible resources I could use for medical problems, concerns or questions.

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Thanks for commenting, Carlen. It'll be interesting to see what patients think once they're up and running for a while.

Ed

Reply
Penny-Marie Wright avatar

Penny-Marie Wright

I'm in Canada & have had the same family doctor for 30 or more years. I can get an app. with him the same day or next one if needed. He is busy but somehow always manages to see everyone. He admits that he doesn't know much about MS so I should go to the neurologist at the MS Clinic which I usually do once a year. I also see the eye doctor yearly due to the MS double vision. I wouldn't go to Amazon for doctor information of any kind. It isn't a medical company at all & won't get medicine from them either.

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Thanks for the comments Penny-Marie. It's great that you have a good healthcare structure set up. It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of care Amazon can provide via the health clinic company it plans to acquire.

Ed

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