Amazon’s Latest Move in Medtech Is a Big Deal
Amazon is continuing its deep dive into the healthcare market. This time the Seattle, WA-based company is teaming up with Arcadia, a consultancy group, to launch an exclusive brand of consumer-use medical devices for diabetes and hypertension management.
Dubbed, the Choice Brand, Amazon’s medical device offerings will start with a range of blood glucose monitors and blood pressure monitors both with supporting mobile apps which offer measurement tracking, data mobility, and reminders.
Amazon’s partner, Arcadia, will help develop the brand. Arcadia has extensive experience in brand development within the diabetes and cardiovascular markets and is widely known as the original architect of Walmart’s ReliOn brand as well as Abbott’s Freestyle line of diabetes devices.
“The Choice brand is all about accessible wellness, Bob Guest, CEO of Arcadia Group said in a release. “Consumers no longer need to drive to a store to stand in-line and purchase their medical devices and supplies. Now, in the privacy of their home, consumers can review, compare and purchase the products of their choice. No insurance is required. Therefore, customers have the freedom of choice. They will no longer be told by their insurance company what brand they can by. Choice is freedom.”
Amazon has been making significant moves in the healthcare industry this year. Back in January, Amazon along with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase caused quite the stir with news of a new venture aimed at providing their U.S. employees with “simplified, high-quality, and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.” And in March, Amazon hired Taha Kass-Hout, MD, a former FDA chief health informatics officer, to serve in a business development role focusing on healthcare projects.
There has been speculation on how Amazon can shake up or impact the healthcare industry. In 2015 analysts said that Amazon had the potential to disrupt healthcare.
Amazon’s move into medtech and healthcare is similar to Google’s move into the industry in 2014. The Mountain View, CA-based company eventually restructured and its life sciences division, now called Verily, continued to penetrate the healthcare market at a rapid rate through a series of collaborations.
Also, both Amazon and Google’s Verily have been targeting diabetes market – which is considered an easy entry point into the healthcare market.