Home Health Amazon also wants to become our doctor

Amazon also wants to become our doctor

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Amazon also wants to become our doctor

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On Thursday, Amazon announced it had bought One Medical, a large chain of US private clinics, for $ 3.9 billion (about € 3.8 billion). For Amazon, which is the largest e-commerce company in the world, it’s a huge investment in healthcare, a sector that could become increasingly important for Jeff Bezos’ company to diversify its operations in the coming years.

The acquisition is all the more relevant considering that it is the third by economic value in Amazon’s history: the only two most expensive acquisitions were that of the supermarket chain Whole Foods in 2017 (for 13.7 billion dollars) and that film production company MGM in 2021 (for $ 8.4 billion).

One Medical, which is headquartered in San Francisco, California, operates 188 clinics across the United States, predominantly in the largest and most populous cities, and has a subscription service that allows patients to receive in-person or remote assistance through a platform. for mobile devices (what in technical jargon is called telemedicine).

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Thanks to this remote healthcare service, One Medical has become very popular in the United States in the last years of the pandemic, and today the platform has 767,000 subscribers. In recent months, several newspapers and industry analysts had spoken of it as the “Netflix of health care” since, as with the streaming service, for a fixed price you can book appointments quickly, have online consultations and receive medical prescriptions. in no time (One Medical subscription costs $ 199 per year).

For the moment, Amazon has not announced what it intends to do with One Medical, whether to keep the service independent or whether to integrate it into its site and subscription. Prime (the one that allows, among other things, to receive the purchased products without paying shipping costs).

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The acquisition of One Medical is yet another step taken in recent years to enter the healthcare sector, and will most likely contribute to further expansion in this regard. In 2018, Amazon bought PillPack, one of the largest online pharmacies in the United States, which it then integrated into its site in 2020, launching the Amazon Pharmacy drug sales service (currently only available in the United States). During the pandemic it had produced its own test for the coronavirus and in 2020 it had also introduced an IT platform reserved for its US employees to receive remote medical assistance, called Amazon Care.

Neil Lindsay, vice president of Amazon Health Services, commented on the acquisition of One Medical saying that “we believe healthcare is at the top of the list of experiences that need to be reinvented. You have to book an appointment, wait weeks or even months to be seen, take a break from work, drive to a clinic, find a parking space, wait in the waiting room, be seen in a doctor’s office for a few hurried minutes, and finally take another trip to a pharmacy: we see many opportunities both to improve the quality of this experience and to give people back the precious time of their days ».

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