CNBC: 3 experts' predictions about Amazon's healthcare ambitions

2018 was the year of Amazon cemented its move into healthcare, from its joint partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase on an employer health initiative unveiled in January to its EHR-mining software released in November — the company has embarked on a slew of other acquisitions, services and efforts throughout the year.

CNBC health and technology reporter Christina Farr spoke with several healthcare experts about why they think Amazon is transitioning into the industry and what the company's healthcare offerings might look like in 2019.

Here is what several experts had to say, according to CNBC:

1. Tom Robinson, partner at consulting firm Oliver Wyman: "I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon starts out in health by providing things like over-the-counter medicines, and then moves into making the experience easier for managing your health." He suggested Amazon may offer services tailored to basic ailments, preventive care and potentially managing chronic medical conditions.

2. Jason Langheier, MD, CEO of food-tech start-up Zipongo: "With its underbelly of e-commerce, Amazon can touch the one thing [food] that has the greatest public health impact." Mr. Langheier predicts Amazon will leverage Whole Foods, which it acquired in 2017, to create a web-based service for people to access meal plans, kits, recipes or subsidies.

3. Unnamed pharmacy experts: Now that Amazon owns PillPack, the company could target the approximately 6 percent of people that pay for their prescriptions with cash, lack insurance or have deductible plans to offer affordable access to medicines.

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