Amazon sent shockwaves across the healthcare sector, as the American giant announced it was purchasing PillPack – an emerging medical service company. The news caused both Walgreens and CVS Health’s stocks to drop by nearly eight percent this week, leaving many experts to wonder if Amazon will continue its foray into this $3 trillion sector.
What Is PillPack?
This is a relatively new company that essentially runs like a 21st-century pharmacy. All of your medication is delivered to your doorstep, and everything is pre-packaged according to the dosage.
It’s a simplified way of taking your medicine. There’s even an app that works in tandem with PillPack’s services, proving that the days of visiting your local pharmacy are over. Investors quickly jumped onboard, as the company has received millions of dollars worth of funding over the last two years.
How Will This Acquisition Affect You?
Although the news seems to be affecting Wall Street, the average consumer won’t experience any change for quite some time. Healthcare in this country is a contentious debate, and it’s hard to initiate change or disrupt a market that is so rigid.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has entered this space before. Earlier in the year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced his company was collaborating with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to provide private healthcare to nearly 1.9 million employees in the country. This would allow for employees to bypass the public healthcare system and could impact Obamacare enrollment figures in the future. Although, the news was tentative and we still don’t have a lot of details.
Have Other Companies Done This?
In 2008, Google successfully launched something called Google Health, which allowed customers to willingly submit their medical records so it could be accessed when going to the doctor’s office or the hospital. While this concept was in the preliminary stages, it never really took off, and it was officially dissolved in 2011.
Since then, the tech giant has announced it’s going to use AI (otherwise known as artificial intelligence) in the healthcare industry. What does that mean exactly? Well, we’re not entirely sure, but we should expect further news done the line.
This story about Amazon is significant because it ushers in a new era when big companies are going to start disrupting and entering the healthcare market in new ways that we haven’t seen before. So keep your eyes peeled and remember that change is indeed coming.