Apple, Amazon, Uber & More: What to expect as big tech moves into healthcare this year, according to The Verge

2018 was the year many technology giants — Uber, Apple and Amazon, to name a few — solidified their place in the healthcare space.

To gain insight into what's to come in the year ahead, The Verge identified several of the biggest moves tech made in the healthcare industry last year, and highlighted how businesses might build on these in 2019.

Here's four questions The Verge hopes big tech will have answered by the close of 2019:

1. Amazon: The e-commerce giant could leverage PillPack, an online pharmacy service it acquired in 2018, to deliver prescription drugs via Amazon Prime. It could also combine prescription drug information from PillPack with EHR data, given the recent announcement of its software that can mine health records to inform physicians' care decisions.

The Verge asks: "How will Amazon integrate PillPack into its existing suite of services? (Will we order antidepressants using Amazon Prime?) What will that success or failure mean for the brick-and-mortar pharmacies or other pharmacy startups like Capsule?"

2. Apple: From adding patient medical records to its health app, to equipping its smartwatch with an electrocardiogram feature, to opening on-site medical clinics for its employees, Apple made waves in healthcare in 2018.

The Verge asks: "One big question for 2019 is how the EKG feature on the Apple Watch will shake out. Already, there has been concern from experts that the feature will do more harm than good by giving perfectly healthy people false positives, which could send them into the clinic and take time away from those who are more likely to be sick."

3. Uber: Ride-sharing service Uber launched Uber Health in 2018 to help patients more easily get to their medical appointments, thereby entering the nonemergency transportation market.

The Verge asks: "[W]ho's using it, how many people are using it and [what are] the risks and downsides."

4. Alphabet: As the parent company of both Google and Verily, Alphabet is more focused on health research than direct patient care, and its spin-off companies have struck several high-profile partnerships and snagged numerous healthcare executives in the past year, such as David Feinberg, MD, former CEO of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger. One of the Alphabet projects The Verge is keeping tabs on this year is its work on sleep apnea with ResMed; another is its work to address medication compliance with Walgreens.

The Verge asks: "What will come of the sleep apnea company? [And] medical non-compliance is an enormous problem, and other high-tech solutions haven't helped much, so will Verily and Walgreens succeed where others have failed?"

To access the complete article on The Verge, click here.

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