Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Is Amazon Capable of Transforming Healthcare?

healthcare photo

Many companies have attempted to immerse themselves into the healthcare industry in the past, although few have been successful in reducing healthcare costs. Amazon recently announced its healthcare alliance with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, and it is argued that Amazon is the key component of this partnership, due to the company’s foundation of efficient operational procedures, strong customer focus, and technological integration. Chunka Mui’s Here’s How Amazon Could Disrupt Healthcare emphasizes several capabilities that Amazon has brought to the retail industry that will enable the company to disrupt the healthcare industry. Mui makes the interesting point \that if integrated into healthcare, Amazon’s comprehensive customer records, personalized user experience, price choice and transparency, and reliable reviews will lead the company to a future of vast amounts of patient health data to analyze, personalized health pages, cost options, and trustworthy ratings of healthcare providers. However, do you think that this is enough to make Amazon stand out as a player in healthcare? What roadblocks might arise for the future of this healthcare alliance?



3 Responses to Is Amazon Capable of Transforming Healthcare?

  • Hey Tessa. This is a really interesting topic. Amazon is known for their efficiency and innovation, so the idea of them entering the healthcare industry in some way is an exciting one. However, I’m not confident they could achieve any meaningful change here in the U.S. The main problem with America’s private healthcare industry is its fragmentation… there are so many different competing entities, all vying for profit in some way, and creating all sorts of regulatory hurdles. At the end of the day, the average person is left with a confusing plan that has incomplete coverage. Instead of a tech company entering the healthcare space, I think the federal government should mandate a switch to a single-payer public system, but admittedly we are many years away from this being a possibility.

  • Tessa, I think this topic is very interesting as Amazon continues to grow its business in every way possible. Yet, I don’t think Amazon will be able to perform well and disrupt the healthcare industries. While Amazon has a vast database of information that can use to their advantage, the healthcare industry isn’t a data only industry. There are many well established companies already in this market all competing for the same consumers. In addition, many consumers get their health coverage through an employer and often don’t have control over who they’re provider is or how they receive healthcare products. Finally, this is a heavily regulated industry and these regulation can be costly to follow and costly if fined too. I do not think Amazon, a technology company, should enter this industry as it is way out of their expertise.

  • Hi Tessa. This is a very interesting topic and one that has a lot of implications for both of us working for a company in healthcare. I feel like ultimately entering this market would be more trouble then its worth for Amazon. With all of the regulations in healthcare this is an industry where your business model can become obsolete very quickly so you have to constantly be able to pivot. I’m not sure if Amazon would want to focus so much on an industry like this where its not even their main business. Also with all of the huge players in this industry already this is a very competitive space which would make entering it incredibly challenging. I do not see Amazon disrupting the healthcare industries any time in the near future with all of these barriers but it will be interesting to see what comes from this.

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