Can Amazon Revolutionize the Industry?
Though actual plans are kept tightly guarded, Amazon has been making moves to enter the healthcare space. Amazon already sells medical supplies and equipment to clinics and hospitals. Now the giant company wants to explore other facets of the industry, as well.
Amazon has partnered with Merck to offer a $125,000 prize for the Alexa Diabetes Challenge, a contest to encourage developers to create apps that use Alexa’s voice-recognition software to help people with diabetes manage the disease and its treatment. Boston’s Children’s Hospital has harnessed Alexa’s power in a fascinating simulation to help streamline, and potentially improve, the doctor/patient experience. The powerhouse company also teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase to cut health costs and improve services for employees by creating a healthcare system that is free from profit-making incentives.
A wing of Amazon’s efforts may affect the aging population specifically. Amazon has been meeting with the AARP since 2015 to discuss designing technology that will hopefully benefit the older population. In a rare public appearance in February, Amazon’s vice president of special projects, Babak Parviz, said, “We have looked at the older population in the context of health…and we know this group has a lot of issues and unmet needs.”
What exactly does Amazon have up its sleeve to help the aging population? Will it disrupt the healthcare system? Or will the intricacies and challenges of the current system be too much for one company to overcome?
We’ll have to ask Alexa…