While there may not be a breakthrough, hot-ticket healthtech product on its current docket, Amazon is set to lean more heavily into its healthcare foray as the year unfolds. The multi-faceted e-commerce giant's calculated approach necessitates putting out feelers in the space via entry into emerging markets for current offerings and incremental expansions in existing capabilities.
The company hopes Amazon Care can become the juggernaut Amazon Web Services has grown into. Having made it through a pilot venture as well as an encouraging national expansion, the primary care service could become a trademark engagement vehicle in 2022 and beyond. Even coming into the year, Care has already inked high-profile deals to cover the employees of fitness company Precor and hospitality mainstay Hilton. There is an opportunity for Amazon to make critical gains with this service by emphasizing the customer experience in a sector where the quality of patient care is known to be inconsistent.
The company also tapped into the booming COVID-19 testing market as well as its own strengths by offering PCR tests for online purchase in 2021. Tom Kiesau, Director of Digital Health at healthcare advisory firm The Chartis Group, said, “I thought it would be antigen tests, but it makes more sense for PCR, as it plays into their logistics infrastructure. Amazon has the logistics to easily drop the test off and pick it up again, bypassing the clinic setting, and they have the data infrastructure to quickly share the results faster than many other organizations.”
Also of note in this long-term strategy is the diagnostic tool and fitness tracker Amazon Halo, which could add capabilities in the near future making it more competitive in the wearables space. Amazon HealthLake, which launched in the middle of last year, provides healthcare organizations with a HIPAA-compliant service that offers visibility and analytics for individual and cumulative patient populations.