Amazon’s interest in healthcare and being a major player in that industry is taking a big step forward today. The company has just announced that it intends to acquire One Medical, a primary health care provider that utilizes personal, digital and virtual interactions in its services. One Medical was listed in 2020, and Amazon said it would pay $ 18 per share for the company, with a value of $ 3.9 billion.
Amazon so far does not say much about how their plans for One Medical are under the Amazon wing. For example, it is not clear whether it will remain an independent company or whether it will be integrated into Amazon’s broader health strategy. E-commerce and cloud services have made a number of inroads into the field on their own, including the launch of an online pharmacy and the construction of an on-demand healthcare platform.
But the emergence of services like One Medical’s ideas fits very closely into a broader vision of digital services – and replaces the same services provided with more traditional, and often analog, means – as Amazon unfolds across a range of other verticals.
“We believe the health service is high on the list of experiences that need to be rediscovered. Book an appointment, wait weeks or even months to be seen, take time off from work, drive to a clinic, find a parking space, wait in the waiting room and then the exam room for what is all too often a few hasty minutes with a doctor, then we take a new trip to a pharmacy – we see many opportunities to both improve the quality of the experience and give people valuable time back in their days, says Neil Lindsay , SVP for Amazon Health Services, in a statement.
“We love inventing to make things easier, and we want to be one of the companies that will help dramatically improve the health experience over the next few years. Together with One Medical’s people-centered and technology-driven approach to healthcare, believe “We can and will help more people to receive better care, when and how they need it. We look forward to delivering on the long-term mission.”
“The opportunity to transform healthcare and improve results by combining One Medical’s man-centered and technology-driven model and exceptional team with Amazon’s customer engagement, inventive history and willingness to invest in the long term is so exciting,” Amir added. Dan Rubin, One Medical CEO. “There is a huge opportunity to make healthcare more accessible, affordable and even enjoyable for patients, providers and payers. We look forward to innovating and expanding access to high quality healthcare together.”
One Medical works both with a direct-to-consumer model, as well as by selling services via companies in their employee health plans. It currently has more than 8000 organizations as B2B2C customers.
The company, which was supported by Google and others in its start-up phase, has had its share of ups and downs. We wrote about a data leak at the company in 2021 that revealed hundreds of customers’ email addresses.
Amazon has been intervening, and setting its ambitions, in the healthcare industry for a number of years already. It has made acquisitions against online pharmacy services, such as PillPack, and launched products on the back of it. Separate on-demand health services have also been developed, which is where One Medical can be located in the larger company in the longer term. And it has also looked at healthcare as a business opportunity, such as exploring Alexa integrations in healthcare environments.
But not all of these initiatives have been completely successful. In 2018, it formed a JV with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to build an employee’s healthcare services, and appoint a high-profile physician to lead it. But that service never seemed to take shape as expected and closed the store in 2021.