Will Amazon enter the digital health market?

Several signs indicate Amazon is preparing to jump into the digital health market.

Last month, the Google engineer who led the development of Google Glass joined Amazon's staff, signaling a possible move into wearables. It's unclear what Babek Parviz, PhD, is working on at Amazon — at last week's Health Innovation Summit hosted by digital health accelerator Rock Health, Dr. Parviz demurred on questions about Amazon's current digital health projects, though VentureBeat reports his facial expression hinted something is underway.  

Also last month, "Amazon leadership" met with U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials, including Howard Sklamberg, JD, deputy commissioner for global regulatory operations and policy. Details of the meeting have not been disclosed, and Forbes cautions the meeting could have been about selling prescription drugs over the Internet. However, both Google and Apple took meetings with the FDA prior to launching their digital health platforms.

The healthcare industry is currently drawing in a myriad of powerhouses from other industries, all angling to introduce a new product or service to get part of the $2.8 trillion pie, according to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute. Companies like Apple and Google see the potential to disrupt the traditional industry dynamics with new technology, and it's likely Amazon sees the same opportunity.

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