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Industry Expects Amazon to Succeed in Healthcare

By Steven Porter  
   May 15, 2018

Three-quarters of survey respondents said they expect the online retailer's potentially earthshattering foray into healthcare to work out.

Most healthcare leaders have a positive view of Amazon's aspirations to transform healthcare, according to a survey conducted by Reaction Data, a firm based about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City, in American Fork, Utah.

The survey's results suggest a majority of those in the industry generally support what Amazon has set out to do and expect the initiative to succeed. This is unsurprising, given the company's track record, the researchers wrote.

"To say Amazon has disrupted the retail market would be an understatement. They have mastered the process of online shopping and next day delivery," the survey report states. "Based on the response we have received from those in the healthcare space, their play will be received with open arms."

  • Respondents include C-suite: Of the 152 people who responded to the survey, 44 were chief executive officers, according to Reaction Data.
     
  • Majority supportive: Asked whether they support Amazon's plan, 62% of respondents said yes. Only 12% said they do not support the plan, with one detractor questioning how Amazon's entry would affect group purchasing contracts.
     
  • Most expect success: Three-quarters of respondents said they expect Amazon to succeed, according to Reaction Data.
     
  • Consumer healthcare: The survey comes after CNBC reported in February that Amazon had quietly launched a line of over-the-counter health products and reported this month that the company has a team dedicated to leveraging the Alexa technology for health and wellness applications.
     
  • Prescription drugs: Amazon has explored the possibility of handling prescription drugs, but the company shelved a plan in April to sell drugs to hospitals, as CNBC reported.

Regardless of which entry-points Amazon chooses, observers are putting odds on the company's ability to figure out and finalize a plan that works, as Rob Haslehurst, managing director for Boston-based L.E.K. Consulting, said in March.

"They have repeatedly shown that they have the capabilities, the patience, and the deep pockets to disrupt industry after industry," Haslehurst said. "Healthcare is no exception."

Steven Porter is editor at HealthLeaders.


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