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Big tech isn’t going away — and its healthcare moves will only get bolder

“This has become a perennial prediction, but it’s still an important one. Few people believe at this point that Amazon’s Amazon Care program will stay an employee experiment for long. We’re convinced it’s headed for a wider rollout that will see Amazon offering, or at least facilitating, telemedicine services, disrupting the supply chain for care the same way it has with so many other things. Exactly what form that will take remains to be seen, but healthcare is a market ripe for disruption and Amazon is well-positioned to get more involved in disrupting it, as indeed they already have with mail-order prescription delivery. We’ve heard surprisingly little out of Haven, Amazon’s joint venture with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, but we suspect Haven and Amazon Care are pieces of the same puzzle.

Apple and Google may not be taking as direct a role, but we expect to see them slowly expanding their role as well. Apple continues to invest in a whole ecosystem of hardware and software around both health monitoring and mobile-enabled health research. Recent signals by Google that it may want to compete — including a new 510(k) clearance for the Verily Study Watch and the company’s acquisition of Fitbit — should only heat up Apple’s efforts.

As for Google, we had the opportunity to hear Google Health VP David Feinberg speak last week at the Startup Health Festival. After sharing several interesting AI projects the company is involved in around mammography and eye health, this is how he described the company’s vision:

‘Fundamentally in 10 years, I feel like we’ll be successful if we have helped the health care system in communities redesign health care. So it’s actually centered around patients and families. I think we fundamentally have built the wrong system. And I think these tools can help us achieve that. How that looks, I’m not sure. But it will be more affordable. It will be much easier. The quality will be better. There’ll be joy in being a caregiver. And health will be something that you don’t have to worry about, because when bad stuff happens or if we can predict bad stuff, we can get you in the right direction.’” Read More

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