Amazon invests in healthcare

Amazon has announced plans to acquire One Medical, a primary healthcare provider across the United States. If the contract negotiated at 3.9 billion dollars clearly denotes the ambition of the e-commerce giant to conquer the health market, many wonder if this acquisition does not hide something else.

Amazon strengthens its position in the healthcare market

Amazon began conquering the very buoyant healthcare sector in 2018 with the acquisition of PillPack, renamed Amazon Pharmacy. Two years later, he launched AmazonCarea virtual clinic.

This new acquisition is clearly in line with its overall strategy of gain more market share in this highly competitive healthcare sector. Medical One, the company in the crosshairs of Amazon, offers its members “transparent access to comprehensive care” for an annual subscription of 199 dollars.

Medical One also offers its subscribers a set of resources such as applications or 24/7 access tovirtual medical assistance. In the first quarter of 2022, the company had net sales of over $250 million.

This provider helps bridge the gap between the United States’ inefficient public healthcare system and very expensive health insurance. Is it just a question of the market or does this takeover hide a targeting attempt for Amazon Pharmacy ?

Amazon refutes exploitation of Medical One data

Amazon is well known for its ad targeting practices through data. In fact, this acquisition raises the question whether the company does not plan to use the data of some 800,000 One Medical customers. This, among other things, to boost the sales of Amazon Pharmacy in the United States.

The e-commerce giant completely refutes these allegations. An Amazon spokesperson said One Medical customer information is protected by US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

He adds : ” This data is processed separately from all other Amazon businessesas required by law […] Amazon will never share the personal health information of One Medical customers for advertising or marketing purposes for other Amazon products and services without the customer’s clear permission.

What about “clear authorization”?

Does this statement imply that Amazon will implement an advertising targeting strategy for Amazon Pharmacy in the event of “clear permission” from users? In this case, the authorization process should be absolutely transparent.

But so far, the question of transparency on the use of user data is still a pipe dream in the vast world of technology. Beyond ad targeting, cybersecurity experts point to another problem: Amazon’s vulnerability to cyberattacks.

The company aggregates a staggering volume of data, making it a prime target for hackers. For now, the acquisition is not yet effective. Both parties are still awaiting approval from regulators and One Medical shareholders.

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