Here are all of Amazon's health moves that led up to the JPMorgan Chase-Berkshire Hathaway deal

Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway entered the healthcare arena Tuesday with their collaboration on a new company designed to cut healthcare costs for their U.S. employees.

This move has been a long time coming for Amazon, which has increased its involvement in healthcare-related ventures over the last few years, leaving multiple media outlets to speculate about a potential healthcare industry entrance.

Here is a breakdown of Amazon's healthcare ventures, investments and hirings reported by Becker's Hospital Review since mid-2016.

April 2016. Amazon equipped its voice command-based assistant Alexa to offer health advice in a partnership with Boston Children's Hospital. Over the next few months, Amazon rolls out more Alexa-based health services, including first aid assistance through a partnership with Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic.

July 2016. The American Heart Association and Amazon Web Services — the e-commerce giant's cloud business — formed a strategic collaboration to enhance the AHA's Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine.

November 2016. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos provided investments in the anti-aging San Francisco-based startup Unity Biotechnology through Bezos Expeditions.

March 2017. Amazon linked up with WebMD to provide physician-reviewed answers to health-related questions asked through Amazon Alexa.  

April 2017. Amazon and Merck unveiled the Alexa Diabetes Challenge to explore how voice-command technology can support chronic disease management.

May 2017. CNBC highlighted Amazon's efforts to expand its drug and medical supply distribution efforts by hiring more leaders from the pharmaceutical industry and offering direct shipment of medical supplies to U.S. customers.

June 16, 2017. Amazon acquired Whole Foods, and some speculated the $13.7 billion purchase could move the company closer to the pharmacy market.

June 28, 2017. Teva Pharmaceutical Interim President and CEO Yitzhak Peterburg, MD, said the global healthcare industry is facing a "huge disruption" from the technology sector, specifically citing the "Amazons and Googles."

July 10, 2017. Becker's reported that John Brownstein, PhD, professor of pediatrics at Boston-based Harvard Medical School and chief innovation officer at Boston Children's Hospital, has worked with a variety of tech giants — including Amazon and Uber — to roll out digital health applications.

July 20, 2017. The tech giant reportedly hired Missy Krasner, a healthcare executive from the cloud-based file sharing service Box, suggesting the company's growing investment in digital health.

July 27, 2017. Becker's reported that Amazon has a secret healthcare team exploring new technology opportunities in healthcare, including both hardware and software projects. The group, called 1942, is also reportedly exploring building a platform for telemedicine and health applications on Amazon hardware, including its Echo and Dash Wand.

Aug. 8, 2017. During a second-quarter earnings call Aug. 8, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo warned the "barriers to entry are high" for companies like Amazon that may be looking to move into the pharmacy business.

Aug. 9, 2017. An informal CNBC poll conducted on Twitter showed people trust Apple (41 percent) more than Amazon (8 percent) with their health data.

Aug. 15, 2017. CNBC speculates that Amazon's new pickup points in the U.S. could help shoppers quickly access prescriptions.

Aug. 24, 2017. Two former Amazon leaders, who have since transitioned to roles in the healthcare sector, said they believe the company has real potential to disrupt the healthcare industry.

Sept. 7, 2017. Amazon announced plans to invest more than $5 billion into a second company headquarters in North America that will include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. More than 238 cities proposals submitted.

Sept. 20, 2017. The tech giant reportedly began talks with pharmacy benefit managers about potential drug contracts.

Sept. 25, 2017. CNBC notes Amazon's Alexa is not HIPAA compliant.

Oct. 3, 2017. One Kansas-based family physician, Josh Umbehr, MD, told CNBC he has sent dozens of emails to Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos, urging him to direct the company toward the prescription drug market.

Oct. 17, 2017. The National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved, a public-private partnership founded in 2008, launched the NHIT Care Campaign to bring healthcare resources — including an open-source EMR — to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Along with PwC, partners in the campaign include Amazon Web Services, Health Gorilla and Williams Medical Technology, among other organizations.

Oct. 17, 2017. Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group said it sees Amazon as a potential partner rather than a competitor in the pharmaceutical business.

Oct. 27, 2017. Amazon has slowly acquired more than 10 wholesale pharmacy licenses from state boards over 2017, fueling rumors over the retailer's potential entrance into the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Nov. 13, 2017. The company claimed it will use its pharmacy licenses in Tennessee and Indiana to sell medical devices and supplies instead of prescriptions.

Nov. 15, 2017. Bayer, the Leverkusen, Germany-based drugmaker, tapped the head of Nestlé 's baby food business, Heiko Schipper, in an effort to boost its consumer health revenue, which has been on the decline as buyers increasingly turn to online retailers like Amazon.

Nov. 22, 2017. Amazon Web Services was reportedly planning to announce a partnership with the North Kansas City, Mo.-based EHR vendor Cerner, but no news of the partnership has been discussed since.

Nov. 30, 2017. Amazon has reportedly held preliminary discussions with several generic drug manufacturers — including Mylan and Novartis — regarding the company's potential foray into the pharmacy business.

Dec. 1, 2017. Amazon rescinded an application for a wholesaler pharmaceutical license in Maine.

Jan. 8, 2018. Mr. Bezos' net worth grew to $105.1 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Jan. 16, 2018. Amazon began fielding applications for a HIPAA Compliance Lead, according to a job listing on its website.

Jan. 18, 2018. The company posted its top 20 candidate cities for the location of its HQ2. A study predicts Atlanta will win the bid.

Jan. 24, 2018. According to analysts, Amazon's exploratory healthcare team has grown to more than 30 people. One of those hires includes Martin Levine, MD, a physician specializing in geriatrics from Boston-based Iora Health.

Jan. 30, 2018. The company announced its collaboration with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to administer and share risk for their employees' medical care. Shares of healthcare companies fell shortly after the announcement.

More articles on health IT:
Epic introduces 3-part functionality for data collaboration
HIMSS, American College of Clinical Engineering present 'Excellence in Clinical Engineering' award to Axel Wirth
Emory researchers use AI to predict sepsis onset in ICUs

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars