Amazon's vision for a 'frictionless' future in healthcare

In 2024, Amazon will be zeroing in on making healthcare easier for consumers as well as upping its partnerships with health systems through One Medical, its virtual and in-person primary care company. 

Sunita Mishra, MD, chief medical officer of Amazon Health Services, told Becker's that Amazon's mission is to make the healthcare experience more customer-focused. 

"We are working to make it dramatically easier for customers to find, choose, afford and engage with the services, products and professionals they need to get and stay healthy," she said. "Our approach will continue to utilize digital-forward, AI-powered, secure and data-driven technology that helps people find care faster, increases choice and cost savings for customers, and supports clinicians so they can focus on patient care." 

Dr. Mishra said currently, the healthcare experience is far from convenient for most people. But Amazon wants to continue to design improvements that offer clear choices and convenience — making it easier to engage in continuous care. 

"We know customers have agency over their health, but want to make it so easy that they choose it," she said. "We are working to make what should be easier in healthcare easier — focusing on both big and small improvements. Eventually, it will feel like a complete reinvention and welcomed improvement of the overall healthcare experience."

Growing One Medical

One Medical, which Amazon acquired in February 2023, is on a mission to "transform healthcare for all through a human-centered, technology-powered primary care model," Dr. Mishra said. 

"One Medical's partnerships with health systems across the U.S. are making it easier for patients to maintain continuity of care by providing more seamless continuation between primary and specialty care within the context of the whole patient journey," she said. "This helps to solve one of the most prominent challenges in healthcare: fragmentation. Fragmentation leads not only to frustration, but also can result in important details falling through the cracks."

One Medical currently works with 16 health systems throughout the U.S., including Durham, N.C.-based Duke Health, Atlanta-based Emory Healthcare and UC San Diego Health, to name a few. 

One Medical is planning to open additional primary care offices in Milwaukee in collaboration with Advocate Aurora Health in the coming months, and in New Jersey in partnership with Edison-based Hackensack Meridian Health by the end of 2024, according to Dr. Mishra. 

Amazon Clinic's vision for the future  

Amazon Clinic, the company's new telehealth service that launched in 2023, aims to serve as a solution to the friction points and frustrations present in the U.S. healthcare system. 

"Amazon Clinic helps people find and access care on their terms, their schedule and with transparent pricing," Dr. Mishra said. "Customer feedback has been positive and we look forward to continue innovating and working backward from the customer's needs; with a commitment to our mission to make it dramatically easier for customers to find, choose, afford and engage with the services, products and professionals they need to get and stay healthy."

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