Amazon Continues Healthcare Push with $3.9B One Medical Acquisition

Amazon made big healthcare news with its $3.9 billion acquisition of primary-care network One Medical. The deal gives the ecommerce giant market reach through One Medical’s 182 healthcare offices, and its subscription model to health and physicians services.

Photo by Christian Wiediger

Yesterday’s announcement is another marker in Amazon’s continued march to disrupt healthcare.

Earlier this year, Amazon launched Amazon Care, a telehealth program that offers in-person and virtual-care services for consumers across the US, which paired with recent acquisitions is bringing scheduling convenience, access to mail-order prescriptions, and provider access directly to customers.

“We think healthcare is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention,” said Amazon senior vice president Neil Lindsay in a Bloomberg report and described as “leading Amazon’s healthcare push.”

Embracing the retailization of healthcare

Amazon’s ongoing interest in the healthcare sector is a sign of the changing times for a one-time traditional industry. Healthcare was late to the digital revolution due to many factors from legacy IT infrastructure to an ingrained, laggard approach to patient acquisition.

In recent years, change was happening with an emphasis on how to rethink the “digital front door” as a means to better match customer’ expectations for a more modern, self-selecting experience.  And the COVID-19 pandemic kicked healthcare’s digital transformation into high gear with an immediate shift to care options like telehealth and an increased reliance on digital channels to capture, schedule, and manage patient interaction.

One clear industry trend is the retailization of healthcare, a shift in approach made stark by the multiple, recent moves by the world’s largest ecommerce company. The NorthStar when it comes to customer service and convenience, Amazon is poised to change how we find, book, and schedule care, be it with providers or urgent care.  The industry is ripe for transformation, and Amazon has emerged as a formidable healthcare provider.

Instead of dictating how patients interact with healthcare providers, Amazon’s approach is online and digital. And Amazon will remove digital friction from activities like finding doctors and scheduling appointments, offering a one-stop, easy-to-use location to access care.

Moving from concepts to solutions

Following industry disruption news like Amazon’s growing stake in healthcare, there’s value in understanding how ecommerce best practices can be applied to a healthcare setting. At the same time, there’s an industry need for tailor-made solutions that address today’s healthcare marketplace.

WompHealth is uniquely positioned, as the company brings a decade of ecommerce success and know-how to healthcare. Our approach is fiercely customer-centric and improves the digital-customer experience by following three foundational tenets:

  • Making websites ultra fast;
  • Focusing on mobile as the primary customer touchpoint; and
  • Making scheduling easy and frictionless.

Incorporating Amazon-best-practices, WompHealth brings a fully-featured software platform that immediately enhances how customers engage with healthcare networks, their providers, and urgent care facilities.

To improve scheduling, for example, WompHealth offers two innovative solutions:

1. Care Tiles turn high-traffic, landing-pages into scheduling opportunities. Instead of solely relying on directories to schedule appointments, Care Tiles automatically match your content pages with available providers and urgent care timeslots. This seemingly simple step removes tremendous friction — and unnecessary steps — to schedule care and pairs scheduling to the pages customers discover most often in Google search.

2. OmniSearch brings a new standard of onsite-search functionality to healthcare.  All too often the search bar on healthcare websites is buried, rigid, and lacks the sophistication to match intent with relevant results. OmniSearch deciphers user intent and returns the right-level of care, sorted by availability, location and is tailored to each customer. It allows users to search for anything — be it providers, conditions, and locations — and to receive actionable results from any page on the website.

Amazon’s almost $4 billion splash into One Medical’s nationwide healthcare network is a dramatic reminder of where healthcare is headed. The trend of customer-centric, and retail-like digital health continues apace, and the notion of transformation is more than a catchy concept. And today’s healthcare consumer wouldn’t have it any other way.