Companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Uber, etc. will be driving innovations in healthcare delivery and costs over the next 10 years. This will have a significant, positive effect on the industry and it will be good for consumers/patients.
One of the major social determinants in population health management is how to get patients to their care delivery sites. Uber in a big grab for the medical transit market announced the launch of a new digital tool meant to book rides for patients who need assistance getting to and from their appointments. A healthcare provider can book a ride for patients and caregivers immediately, within a few hours, or with 30 days’ notice. The company is positioning itself as a cheaper and more reliable option than most non-emergency medical transportation. Their announcement included over 100 healthcare providers all across the US.
Amazon is also trying to disrupt healthcare. They made big news last month after announcing it would seek ways to address soaring healthcare costs for its own employees. The online shopping titan is focusing its industry-disrupting power on the broader healthcare sector.
The retailer has rolled out a line of private label over-the-counter medicines and is building a business selling a wide array of medical supplies to doctors, dentists and hospitals. Amazon says the efforts are part of its strategy to enhance the shopping experience for businesses and consumers. The company’s efforts in the healthcare field are being closely watched, especially after it announced last month that it is working with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to better control costs and reduce spending on the health insurance they offer for the 840,000 people who work for them.
Some industry watchers also speculate that the firm may try its hand at selling prescription drugs in the near future, though they warn this would be a big lift since the drug industry is so highly regulated.
Apple has also joined the fray by launching medical clinics to deliver the “world’s best healthcare experience” to its employees. The company is launching a group of health clinics called AC Wellness for its employees and their families this spring, according to healthcare industry sources familiar with the company’s plans.
The company quietly published a website, acwellness.com, with more details about its initiative and a careers page listing jobs including primary care doctor, exercise coach and care navigator, as well as a phlebotomist to administer lab tests on-site. Apple’s new primary care group — a group of clinical staff that is run independently from Apple but is dedicated to Apple employees — will initially only serve Apple’s employees in Santa Clara County, where its headquarters are located. Initially, it has two clinics in the county.
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