Amazon bolsters its healthcare ambitions by acquiring a US primary care group –

Amazon accelerated its expansion into the healthcare sector with an all-cash deal to acquire One Medical, a US group that provides virtual and in-person primary care services using a subscription fee model.

Amazon is buying One Medical for $18 a share, valuing the company at around $3.9 billion and making it one of the online retail giant’s biggest ever acquisitions – and by far the biggest ever. in the health category.

The addition of One Medical’s primary care capability is a major step forward for Amazon as it strives to become a major healthcare player, providing services across a growing spectrum, including online pharmacy, telemedicine and home care, as well as digital health technologies.

One Medical, based in San Francisco, covers the last three of these categories as well as physical clinics, which Amazon currently lacks.

It currently has more than 180 offices and more than 8,000 corporate customers, which will suddenly increase Amazon’s capacity for nearby primary care, 24-hour telemedicine as well as on-site care.

One Medical Founder and CEO, Amir Dan Rubin, will retain this role following the completion of the takeover, said Amazon.

Earlier this year, the company reached a major milestone in its healthcare business after making its Amazon Care telehealth platform available to employers nationwide in the United States, and with the rollout of its services in person in dozens of cities across the country. The company said it is committed to eventually expanding in-person services to all 50 states.

One Medical’s first quarter results statement said it operated in 25 locations, with approximately 767,000 registered members and net revenue of $254 million, more than double the same period of 2021. It posted an operating loss of $93 million .

“We believe healthcare is high on the list of experiences that need to be reimagined,” Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, said in a statement.

“We love to invent to make what should be easy easier and we want to be one of the companies that will help to dramatically improve the healthcare experience over the next few years,” he added.

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including One Medical shareholder approval and regulatory approval, according to Amazon.

Opposition to the agreement

Antitrust concerns could be factored in, as One Medical is one of Amazon’s top competitors in the remote and in-person healthcare category, along with Carbon Health. Additionally, activist groups have also criticized the merger and called for it to be challenged by the Federal Trade Commission.

“The acquisition of One Medical will bolster Amazon’s growing presence in the healthcare sector, undermining competition,” said Krista Brown, senior policy analyst at the American Economic Liberties Project.

“It will also pose serious risks to patients whose sensitive data will be captured by a company whose own Information Security Principal Office has already described access to customer data as ‘free for all,'” a- she added.

Amazon Care’s approach to health care from consultation to pharmacy is also competing for market share with platforms offered by Hims & Hers Health, Teladoc and Ro.

Meanwhile, Amazon is also entering the wearable health device market with its own Halo device and bolstering the health-related capabilities of its virtual assistant Alexa.

The jury is out on whether Amazon’s push into healthcare will pay off, given that earlier forays into online pharmacy with the takeover of Pillpack and groceries with the acquisition of Whole Foods have failed. not brought the promised revolution to the market.

There is no doubt that Amazon’s determination to disrupt healthcare delivery and the financial muscle it must try, and in its favor is a tough US market where healthcare can be difficult and expensive to access. .

Meanwhile, Amazon is a relative newcomer to healthcare, which could help it avoid antitrust concerns, and will argue that change is needed to reform the system.

“There is a huge opportunity to make the healthcare experience more accessible, affordable and even enjoyable for patients, providers and payers,” said Dan Rubin of One Medical after the deal was announced.

“We look forward to innovating and expanding access to quality health services together.”

About Jessica J. Bass

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