Amazon Disrupts Diabetes Care

World Diabetes Day Thoughts

Amazon – as in the trillion-dollar consumer goods company that started life as an online bookshop – is staking a claim in healthcare with a new diabetes care management system. They have released their range of blood glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors and test strips that are available exclusively to buy on the Amazon online marketplace.

This side-step from deliveries to health deliverables, is the result of teaming up with Arcadia Group (not that Arcadia Group, but an American band consultancy) who spotted a gap in the Amazon portfolio and will go by the brand name of Choice. An apt name, the proposition behind Choice puts diabetes management back in the hands of the patient, who will no longer have their insurance companies or consultants dictate which brand they buy. It also means the end of the laborious process of requesting prescriptions and queuing in-line at a pharmacy to receive supplies. Instead, diabetics will have all the means of purchasing their equipment at their fingertips, online.

There are future plans to involve Amazon’s Alexa more intimately in the welfare of users, in relation to diabetes and beyond. The aim is to create a personalised wellness assistant, once Amazon jumps through various compliance hoops around the storing and sharing of health information.

Amazon’s entry into the diabetes device market, which is growing globally at a rate of 7% CAGR, is another step in the behemoth’s expansion into the wider healthcare market. In recent times Amazon has also invested in Grail, a cancer detection start-up, acquired the online pharmacy, PillPack, and hired a former FDA Chief Health Informatics Officer to focus on business development in healthcare.

Should pharma and med device stalwarts be worried? With the recent news that Pfizer, GSK and Merck & Co. have all hired exec level employees from consumer facing companies such as Nike and Sainsbury’s Argos, it seems the consumer connection is in vogue for the healthcare industry. If we combine Amazon’s consumer understanding and ability to go straight to the patient with accessible and affordable healthcare products, delivered fast – we would say the answer is a big, fat “yes.”

By: Nick Campbell

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