CNBC: What we suspect about Amazon's move into healthcare

Since 2016, Amazon has taken sly steps into healthcare — moves that helped culminate its joint venture with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway. But, the company is still keeping its intentions quiet.

While Amazon publicly stated its health company with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway will seek to reduce healthcare costs for its U.S. employees, its other strides into healthcare have been more vague.

In a recent analysis, CNBC health tech reporter Christina Farr mapped out what industry experts think about Amazon's disruptive potential.

Here are four speculations about what Amazon could do in healthcare.

1. In the drug and device space: The e-commerce giant already sells medical supplies and equipment to clinics and hospitals, and it markets an over-the-counter pharmaceutical line. In addition, the company has applied for a number of required state pharmaceutical licenses. According to CNBC, it has a team of more than 20 people looking for opportunities in the drug supply chain industry in an effort separate from its initiative with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway.

2. In care delivery: Amazon already partnered with drugmaker Merck to help developers build new Alexa skills that would help diabetes patients manage their disease, and CNBC reported it tapped Martin Levine, MD, a top primary care physician from Iora Health in Seattle. Amazon reportedly held a meeting with Dr. Levine and other top leaders to discuss ways of innovating care delivery, according to CNBC.

3. In old age: In March, Amazon began offering discounted Prime memberships to Medicaid participants, and Amazon Vice President Babak Parviz recently spoke at a conference about loneliness — both of which affect the elderly. CNBC suggests with some modifications, Alexa could help.

4. In medical records: To compete with Microsoft's Azure and Google's Cloud suite, its cloud business, Amazon Web Services, has reportedly been in talks with Cerner about a potential partnership. By working with EHR vendors, Amazon could leverage the clinical data to make recommendations to physicians about drug pricing and quality form the point of care. The online retailer also posted a job listing for a HIPAA expert in January.

To read Ms. Farr's analysis, click here.

For a recap of all of Amazon's moves into the health industry, click here.

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