Amazon is a very, very large company. It might even be too large, given how it treats workers in order to make that magical line go up for shareholders. Well, it’s about to get larger still, in a somewhat unexpected direction.
Amazon has, according to the Wall Street Journal, dropped R66 billion ($3.8 billion) on a company called One Medical. You only get one guess about what it does. If that guess was “One Medical operates more than 180 medical offices in the US,” well done. That was an awfully specific target to nail.
It’s not really an unexpected purchase for the company. It first launched a product called Amazon Care in 2019. It was (and is) aimed at providing a futuristic form of healthcare to companies in the States. That service was supposed to focus mostly on virtual care, but the purchase of One Medical gives the company access to in-person healthcare as well.
But it seems that telehealth, an upcoming field, is firmly on the company’s mind. Amazon Health Services’ vice president Neil Lindsay said, “We see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days.”
Since the only way to really cut back on time spent on medical care is to stop people from standing in line, this suggests that the corporate giant would prefer to do consultations over the phone. Where possible, obviously. There’s only one place where folks go to set a broken leg or dislocated shoulder themselves, and it’s called YouTube¹.
There’s no guarantee that Amazon will emerge as a force in the medical industry. At present, its ventures are still in the realm of the experimental. One Medical itself is in a spot of bother, reports Ars Technica. Most of its purchase price is actually Amazon paying off existing debt. It’s been suggested that the main reason for the sale is that the Jeff Bezos-founded company is looking for physical healthcare locations. Acquiring One Medical will definitely provide that.
Source: Wall Street Journal