Amazon Amplifies Healthcare Disruption, As it Promised, With Acquisition of Pill Pack

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Amazon is Ready to Deliver Healthcare to Your Doorstep

Today’s acquisition of Pill Pack further solidifies Amazon’s entrance to healthcare and amplifies their focus on rising healthcare costs and the need to deliver a better healthcare experience for consumers.

Amazon already has many ways of interacting with consumers and a high level of stickiness among its customers. Pill Pack has tackled medication non-adherence, a key pain point in healthcare that drives cost, unnecessary hospitalizations, and even death.  In the US as many as 20-30% of medications are never filled, and for chronic care patients as many as 50% do not take their medications as prescribed.[i]

What It Means

Amazon + PillPack could eliminate the need to stand in line at the pharmacy. This helps many patients overcome past barriers, such as issues with mobility or lack of transportation.

Thinking beyond engagement via the website and mobile – we have already seen the use of Alexa and other voice enabled devices to engage with patients at home. From medication reminders to gathering data on a patient’s health there are several options here:

  • Amazon will know if the patient did not refill their prescription. Alexa can reach out to refill the prescription and deliver it to the customer’s doorstep.
  • Alexa sends a reminder to the patient to take their medication. Alexa therefore knows when it is time for a refill and automatically submits this order.
  • A patient shares information back with Alexa about how they are feeling.  Alexa could share that information with an approved provider via the cloud to detect potential side effects and enable the provider to intervene and update the patient’s prescription.
  • Supports a holistic virtual care experience. We continue to see virtual care gain traction in the market.  With this acquisition, you can see your provider over video chat and then receive your prescription, cough drops, and tissues hours later.  No need to leave the comfort of your own couch.

This acquisition will disrupt the way consumers obtain their medications and has serious implications for brick and mortar retail pharmacies.  Innovate now or become obsolete.

Have any questions or want to discuss this topic? I’m always happy to connect (especially via briefings and inquiries).

[i] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/well/the-cost-of-not-taking-your-medicine.html

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