THE HEALTHCARE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION LEADER

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Paddy Padmanabhan

Taking stock of Amazon in healthcare

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Monday, March 8, 2021

Issue 104

   
   

Among the big tech firms in the healthcare space, no one piques as much interest and speculation as Amazon, not least because the company says very little about its healthcare strategy. Last week, a report in STAT News laid out Amazon’s quiet expansion of its Amazon Care business to 17 states. Separately, a news release by an advocacy initiative titled Moving Health Home to advance the shift of healthcare to home-based settings mentioned Amazon as one of the partners.


To unpack these developments and gain an understanding of Amazon’s healthcare strategy, I hosted a Clubhouse chat with Erin Brodwin, the reporter who wrote the STAT News piece, and Matthew Holt, an astute observer of the health IT and digital health markets. The chat, which was attended by over 50 participants, provided interesting insights into Amazon’s way of working.


Amazon has multiple “irons in the fire” in healthcare at any time. As of now, these include the pharma distribution business built around PillPack; the primary care business built around Amazon care; the devices business around wearable device Halo (and maybe others); voice-recognition services under Alexa; and finally, the AWS cloud services business. 


In my latest article in CIO online, I discuss a slew of new emerging data collaboratives and Amazon’s Health lake initiative that targets the gnarly problem of data aggregation and analysis in healthcare.


It’s almost impossible to keep track of Amazon’s healthcare projects because unlike other tech firms, Amazon seems to them all as independent initiatives within the company. Even if one of them fails, as was the case with Haven Healthcare, others will continue to press forward.


With Jeff Bezos handing over CEO role to Andy Jassy, will Amazon’s healthcare strategy change? The consensus is that Amazon will continue the path it is on and, if anything, accelerate some of its moves under Jassy. Along with all the other competitive activity from non-traditional healthcare players including “digital-first” companies such as Teladoc, health insurers pushing into online primary care, and retail behemoths such as Walmart amping up their healthcare services in their stores, it also begs the question: what will the market for primary care look like in a few years? 


Speaking of digital health startups, we include a breakdown of the SPAC targets in the space which makes for interesting reading. 


I interview Dr. Stephanie Lahr, CIO of Monument Health and Peter Durlach, Chief Strategy Office of Nuance Communications where we discuss how voice recognition technology is eliminating the administrative burden on physicians. I also interviewed Casey Ross, National Technology Correspondent of STAT News where we talk about Casey’s recently published report on FDA-approved AI-enabled tools.


Have a great week. 


Paddy  

   

Podcasts of the Week

In this episode, Dr. Stephanie Lahr, CIO of Monument Health, and Peter Durlach, Chief Strategy Officer of Nuance Communications, discuss voice recognition technology, its demand and adoption level in the marketplace, emerging use cases, and the next stage of improvements in the technology.

In this episode, Casey Ross, National Technology Correspondent at Stat News, discusses his recently published report on FDA-approved AI-enabled tools. These are Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) tools that work as decision support tools to supply patients’ data to physicians and help them diagnose and treat the patients.

     

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This Week in Digital Health Markets

We are selectively featuring guest posts in our newsletter from senior leaders in healthcare and technology. Reach out to us if you would like to contribute a blog to one of our upcoming newsletters.

In my latest column for CIO online, I discuss how newly formed data collaboratives might monetize patient healthcare data. CIO Online 

Amazon may be the first big tech firm to get directly into healthcare services. It will pose some interesting questions for their cloud customers in healthcare. STAT News

This new advocacy group, titled Moving Health Home, brings together some heavy hitters – including Amazon – who want to effect a shift in thinking about treating patients at home and want to adjust reimbursement models accordingly. Healthcare IT news 

The home health space seems to have been in the news last week. DispatchHealth, a startup offering at-home care, raised $200 million in funding. The Denver-based company plans to use it to expand to additional states. MedCity News

SPACs are all the rage for anyone paying attention to capital markets. A helpful breakdown of digital health companies merged into SPACs and the likely candidates to be SPAC-ed in the near term. MobiHealth News

Adair Chesley breaks down AI in healthcare through the lens of experienced healthcare informatics professionals. JOURNAL of AHIMA

Note: Some of the articles linked in this newsletter may be behind paywalls that need a subscription.

   

Events

In this webinar, Paddy Padmanabhan and Sara Vaezy, Chief Digital Strategy and Business Development Officer of Providence Health will discuss a roadmap for digital transformation leaders looking to take an objective view of their progress and prioritize their investments to meet their enterprise goals.

Event details: March 24 | 02:00 pm ET 

Register hereUpcoming event 

Today, using only a password to protect your email is not enough. Hackers are getting smarter, and your practice could be one click away from an email data breach. Adopt these five tips to secure your practice. Webinar Recording

   

Damo Consulting Thought Leadership and Research

Damo Consulting’s DigiMTM model is a framework that describes the different stages of digital maturity in the specific context of health systems. The framework is supported by an automated online evaluation tool that scores the digital programs of individual health systems and provides benchmarks to drive incremental investments and roadmap execution priorities. White Paper 

CIOs need to look beyond just EHRs and explore stand-alone platforms to enhance care delivery – keeping focused on reliable patient data and streamlined clinical workflows. Blog 

   

Corporate Announcements 

Shantanu Nigam joins Damo Consulting Board of Advisors 

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Damo Consulting offers branding solutions for technology firms looking to gain visibility and access to healthcare executives and CXOs. 

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THE HEALTHCARE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION LEADER

Join the digital healthcare revolution. Stay on top of the latest news, trends, and insights with Damo Consulting.

Sign me up for the latest news, trends, and insights from Damo.

THE HEALTHCARE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION LEADER

Join the digital healthcare revolution. Stay on top of the latest news, trends, and insights with Damo Consulting.