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Amazon Primed to Disrupt Healthcare

Image courtesy of Russell Hart / Alamy Stock Photo Illuminated signage at the Amazon fulfillment centre located in Warrington, UK.
The tech giant plans to buy One Medical, a primary care organization, in an effort to "reinvent" the healthcare experience.

Amazon has been making plays in healthcare for some time now, giving us pieces of the puzzle here and there while keeping us guessing about the bigger picture. This week we got a key puzzle piece, and that picture is finally coming into focus.

The Seattle, WA-based tech giant has put in a $3.9 billion bid to acquire One Medical, a San Francisco, CA-based national primary care organization described as "human-centered" and "technology-powered." According to the announcement, One Medical's mission is to "make quality care more affordable, accessible, and enjoyable through a seamless combination of in-person, digital, and virtual care services that are convenient to where people work, shop, and live."

This seems to fit well with the other healthcare puzzle pieces we've collected from Amazon in recent years, such as the January 2018 announcement that a new healthcare venture was being formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. A few months later, we learned that Amazon was building an all-star team to lead the new venture, which included Taha Kass-Hout, MD, a former FDA chief health informatics officer and Harvard-trained physician.

The One Medical acquisition also fits with Amazon's more recent move to offer telehealth services through its Amazon Care business, an announcement made earlier this year.

Image courtesy of mundissima / Alamy Stock PhotoAmazon Care logo seen on a smartphone screen with an assortment of pills around it.

“We think healthcare is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention. Booking an appointment, waiting weeks or even months to be seen, taking time off work, driving to a clinic, finding a parking spot, waiting in the waiting room then the exam room for what is too often a rushed few minutes with a doctor, then making another trip to a pharmacy – we see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days,” said Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services. “We love inventing to make what should be easy easier and we want to be one of the companies that helps dramatically improve the healthcare experience over the next several years. Together with One Medical’s human-centered and technology-powered approach to healthcare, we believe we can and will help more people get better care, when and how they need it. We look forward to delivering on that long-term mission.”

Amazon said it will acquire One Medical for $18 a share in an all-cash transaction valued at about $3.9 billion, including One Medical’s net debt. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by One Medical's shareholders and regulatory approval. On completion, Amir Dan Rubin is expected to remain as CEO of One Medical.

“The opportunity to transform healthcare and improve outcomes by combining One Medical’s human-centered and technology-powered model and exceptional team with Amazon’s customer obsession, history of invention, and willingness to invest in the long-term is so exciting,” Rubin said. “There is an immense opportunity to make the healthcare experience more accessible, affordable, and even enjoyable for patients, providers, and payers. We look forward to innovating and expanding access to quality healthcare services, together.”

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