Health Care Execs Pick Amazon as Most Likely Industry Disruptor

Health care executives anticipate that Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is much more likely to shake up the current status quo than other potential disruptors, such as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google (Nasdaq: GOOGL) and Walmart (NYSE: WAL).

Reaction Data, a full-service research platform for health care organizations, recently surveyed about 100 top executives with hospitals and other health care provider organizations. Asked which entrant will have the biggest impact on health care, 59% of respondents named Amazon.

Apple was named by 14% of respondents. No other company reached double digits.

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It appears that Amazon’s diverse strengths make it an especially fearsome disruptive force.

Survey respondents described 14 attributes that Amazon could bring to bear in disrupting health care, including its available resources, current influence, distribution ease, brand loyalty, affordability and convenience. By contrast, the respondents singled out nine attributes of Apple, and only four of Walmart.


Courtesy Reaction Data


Amazon has been on the radar of home health and private duty companies for some time, for a variety of reasons, including:

—Its Alexa voice-recognition technology is being leveraged by some home care providers.

—Massive Amazon fulfillment centers are a competitor for potential home care workers.

—A rumored Amazon pilot would target hospital-to-home transitions.

—Amazon’s interest in pharmacy, including its acquisition of PillPack for nearly $1 billion, suggests that it could reinvent the way people receive their medication at home.

—Amazon Business, a B2B purchasing platform, is being used by health care providers for office supplies and some medical equipment.

—Amazon’s joint health care venture with Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) is being led by Dr. Atul Gawande, noted for his book “Being Mortal,” about the need for changes in end-of-life care and long-term care in the United States.

Walmart has also been making health care plays with home health and home care implications. And, earlier this year, the massive retailer was rumored to be interested in buying insurance giant Humana (NYSE: HUM). Humana owns a stake in the largest home health provider in the nation, Kindred at Home.

Written by Tim Mullaney

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