Amazon partners with life sciences group, adapting its 1-Click tech

By | December 1, 2018

Dive Brief:

  • Amazon is partnering with life sciences tech company M3Health ​to bring the tech giant’s IoT 1-Click technology to the healthcare space.
  • The thumb-sized device allows pharma and biotech companies to engage physicians and patients who use their products. An early customer is Novartis’ oncology division.
  • A potential use case is enabling doctors to click once to order drug samples and twice to request more information about medications. The button could also be used by patients seeking support services, or to track therapy adherence and request refills.

Dive Insight:

This move could be one way for Amazon to work its way into healthcare supply chains. While PillPack, certain medical devices products and digital health apps are more consumer-facing, this shows Amazon is also targeting the lucrative market of healthcare professionals.

Providers are enthusiastic about Big Data’s potential to improve patient care, but interoperability remains a barrier to widespread use of predictive analytics and other health IT advances. Amazon has signaled its intent to tackle these barriers with a number of moves, including its acquisition of online pharmacy PillPack this summer.  

Also, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Amazon is selling software that scans patient medical records for hints that can help doctors and hospitals fine-tune patient treatments while reining in costs.

The company’s Amazon Web Services division also recently expanded its catalog of HIPAA-eligible AI services, which could help ease physician burnout due to increasing administrative burdens. Amazon Translate, Amazon Comprehend and Amazon Transcribe join Amazon Polly, Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Rekognition in AWS’ HIPAA-eligible portfolio.

Amazon Business, the company’s B2B purchasing unit, sees a supply chain opportunity in today’s healthcare environment of rising operating expenses, falling admissions and increasing pressure to cut costs.

Amazon’s strategy includes marketplace disruption, streamlined ordering and use of analytics to coordinate activities among disparate purchasing groups.

“Maybe you’ll have the hospital maintenance department in one group, and then the care providers like nurses and doctors in another group, and then the supply chain purchasing department in another group,” Chris Holt, global healthcare leader at Amazon, told Healthcare Dive in July. “To all of those different employees, we provide analytics on what each different group is doing, what kind of spend categories they’re buying in, how that’s trending over time [and] insights into the price and cost-effectiveness of what they’re buying.”

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