For most of the decade One Medical My primary care provider. It is convenient because it is located around the bay area. I like being able to set up a physical schedule for the day and get a quick referral to an expert.
One medical knows me very well. In addition to years of clinic visits and virtual chat, I use the mobile app to record blood pressure and resting heart rate, review lab results, and update prescriptions as needed.For that i pay membership $ 199 per year.
But I never considered that possibility Amazon You may own One Medical someday.
The same company, which sends countless boxes every week, puts book recommendations on Kindle, movie suggestions on smart TVs, tells the weather forecast when kids call Alexa, and offers prime discounts when shopping at Whole Foods. increase. I own my medical services and a portal that contains my most sensitive information.
I’m not the only one who was deeply concerned about this on Thursday after waking up to Amazon news I agreed to buy One Medical is about $ 3.9 billion. Amazon costs $ 18 per share and pays a 77% premium to where the primary care company was valued a day ago.
As one member wrote on Twitter, “I canceled my membership today after having a broad and positive experience with One Medical. I don’t trust Amazon to act in good faith with my health data.”
Founded in 2007 and based in San Francisco, One Medical offers clinical services in 16 US markets, with three more emerging soon. Website.. As of the end of last year, the company had 736,000 members.
Amazon did little to calm my fears with the acquisition publication.. The company said nothing to provide comfort to One Medical’s customers, and as is customary in many large transactions, there was no conference call to discuss the acquisition. Regulatory approval is required to close the transaction.
In response to this story, Amazon has provided a minimum guarantee of compliance with government regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. (HIPAA), It limits the way companies use protected health information, or PHI. This includes all personally identifiable information, medical history, test results, and other health data.
An Amazon spokeswoman said, “As required by law, Amazon is one medical outside of one medical for the purpose of advertising and marketing of other Amazon products and services without the explicit permission of the customer. We never share the personal health information of our customers. ” “Once a deal is closed, One Medical’s customers’ HIPAA Protected Health Information will be processed separately from all other Amazon businesses, as required by law.”
In other words, everything One Medical knows about me is to stay in that protected silo. From shopping habits and travel preferences to shows you watch together on the weekends, whatever profile Amazon builds for me and my family doesn’t mix with my health data.
Despite the law, Amazon tells consumers, and perhaps politicians, that their intentions are pure and that Amazon Health Services will “dramatically improve the healthcare experience in the next few years,” as Neil Lindsay leads. You need to work hard to convince yourself of your main goal. Said in a news release announcing the deal.
After all, Amazon has built something very profitable, alongside its huge retail and cloud divisions. Advertising business Last year, it generated more than $ 31 billion in revenue and grew 58%. Most of that money comes from brands that are paying a lot to promote their products on Amazon’s assets, where competition for the eyeballs is becoming more expensive.
“I don’t think Amazon can do anything to get people to trust the company with medical information,” said campaign director Caitlin Seeley George. Fight for the futureAn advocacy group focused on technology and digital rights.
In an email, Sealy George said health privacy issues were of particular importance after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case and ended the constitutional rights to abortion. Certain decisions related to reproductive health that were protected by law until very recently can now be considered potentially illegal.
Amazon is already Limited sale of emergency contraceptives After a surge in demand following a Supreme Court ruling.And google said it would work Quickly delete location history For those who go to abortion sites.
“Advancing into health care raises some serious danger signals, especially in the post-low reality where people’s data can be used to criminalize their reproductive health care decisions.” Seeley George said.
Seeley George also provides information that, outside of HIPAA regulations, Amazon can deploy fertility tracking or mental health apps to “make assumptions about individuals that may be used against them.” I wonder if it can be collected.
Amazon already has a health tracker called Hello Gather information such as body fat percentage, activity level, and sleep.
Techno optimists will ridicule such ridicule. The current state of healthcare is dire. The systems are old and do not communicate with each other. Billing is notorious for being opaque and complex, and medical costs are ridiculously high.
Amazon recognizes many flaws and inefficiencies in the system and has been healthy for years trying to provide better care to its large employee base, which surged from 1.3 million in 2020 to 1.6 million last year. I have entered the field.
Amazon purchased the online pharmacy Pill Pack For $ 750 million in 2018, we launched Amazon Pharmacy two years later.The company has invested in a telemedicine service called Amazon careWas launched in 2019 as a pilot for some employees and is now available to other employers as a service to their staff.
Dina ShakirFor Amazon, a venture capital partner and investing in many health tech startups, “it’s not their first rodeo in healthcare,” he said.
“Amazon is keenly aware of how to handle HIPAA considerations and has experience with multiple products using it,” Shakir wrote in an email. This type of transaction “should facilitate additional partnerships between large corporations and major health technicians,” she wrote.
Shakir’s company Carbon health, Offers primary and emergency care facilities in 16 states. The company serves approximately 1.1 million patients and targets demographics that are usually less wealthy than One Medical.
Analysts say Amazon is ready to disrupt the $ 934.8 billion global pharmaceutical industry.
Eren Bali, CEO of Carbon Health, agrees that Amazon has severely restricted the use of data.Compared to other big tech companies like Facebook When GoogleHe says Amazon has received a fair amount of trust from consumers.
But Bali understands why there are concerns. Medical companies have a huge amount of personal data, such as social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and health insurance cards, in addition to all the health information in the system. Patients are more willing to pass personal information to doctors and nurses than other types of service providers.
Although there are strict regulations on how that data is used, consumers can reasonably ask what happens if a company like Amazon violates the rules.
“Unfortunately, there is no strong technical solution to enforce data access. This is a major weakness,” Bali said in an interview. He said it was a “personal decision” whether the patient should worry about it.
Bali is generally bullish on the Amazon dive into space. Bali said that the flashy announcement that Amazon had arrived at an old market with large incumbents would force existing players to take action to avoid annihilation.
He quoted Amazon’s purchase of the Pill Pack as an example. Amazon struggled to gain traction in its pharmacy business, but by entering the market, Walgreens When Walmart According to Bali, it’s about enhancing digital products in ways that are beneficial to consumers. One Medical contracts can trigger similarly improved products and services in the primary care world.
“Large companies usually don’t feel the threat from small start-ups,” Bali said. “But they are really threatened by Amazon.”
— CNBC’s Annie Palmer contributed to this report.