2 former Amazon directors on company's move into healthcare

Two former Amazon leaders, who have since transitioned to roles in the healthcare sector, believe the company has real potential to disrupt the healthcare industry, reports CNBC.

Curtis Kopf served as a director at Amazon in the early 2000s, digitizing every book in print, which he now views as a precursor to Kindle.

"At this point, I don't think there's anything they would be afraid to do," Mr. Kopf, now a senior vice president at Mountlake Terrace, Wash.-based health insurer Premera Blue Cross, told CNBC. Amazon recently tapped one of his former Premera colleagues, Mark Lyons, to build an internal pharmacy benefits manager for its employees.

Another former Amazon director, Aaron Martin, who helped launch the company's self-publishing business and was a leader Kindle, said he believes the healthcare sector is too big of an industry for Amazon to ignore.

"At Amazon, we learned to pick our battles and didn't look at anything that was less than $500 million," Mr. Martin, senior vice president of strategy and innovation of Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health and Services, told CNBC. "Meanwhile, healthcare is a fifth of the economy."

Mr. Martin thinks the e-commerce giant could exploit its logistics, machine learning and voice recognition expertise to build new technology platforms, although he thinks entrepreneurs will customize them for the healthcare sector.

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