How Amazon is using M&A to revolutionize healthcare
Artificial intelligence in healthcare saw about $4 billion in funding across 367 deals in 2019, according to data and research firm CB Insights.
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq; AMZN) is no exception. The tech conglomerate is using its recent deals for Health Navigator and PillPack to launch new software services in healthcare. Health Navigator works with companies like Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) in offering services such as remote diagnoses, and with triage to help patients figure out whether to stay at home, see a doctor or go straight to the emergency room. Health Navigator has joined Amazon Care, which is designed to serve as a medical benefit for employees and helps provide care virtually through a video visit, or home visits, if additional care is needed.
Shortly after Amazon announced its purchase of Health Navigator, the company launched Transcribe Medical, a medical transcription service that captures conversations between doctors and patients and turns them into digital formats for medical records.
PillPack is also growing within Amazon. The company, now called PillPack by Amazon Pharmacy, is working with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to launch a new pharmacy integration app that helps members manage prescriptions by using Amazon’s own Internet pharmacy. BCBSMA is the first health plan provider to offer this type of integration with PillPack.
In other related deals MTBC, a developer of cloud-based software for healthcare and revenue cycle management tools, closed a deal for CareCloud in January 2020. CareCloud, founded in 2009, provides medical software to manage practices, electronic health records and patient experience. The company serves more than 7,000 healthcare professionals.
“CareCloud’s cutting-edge cloud-based software, which, through its existing partnerships, leverages Amazon and Google cloud platforms, brings to MTBC exciting new technology integrations,” said A. Hadi Chaudhry, president of MTBC, in a statement.
In 2018, Amazon’s Alexa Fund and the Google Assistant Investment Program, announced that they invested in patient voice assistant Aiva, which specializes in hands-free communication between patients and caregivers. The Aiva system lets patients choose entertainment or educational information, or to set reminders.
The Alexa Fund invests up to $200 million in venture capital in voice technology companies. “We believe experiences designed around the human voice will fundamentally improve the way people use technology,” according to Amazon’s website. Google Assistant Investment Program also backs early-stage voice assistance programs.