Amazon in the medical device market: the latest developments

Step by step, the worldwide e-commerce giant is asserting itself in the most varied sectors of commerce. Interest in medical devices is one of the latest and is advancing rapidly: this article takes stock of the situation.

Written Monday, by Emanuele Mortarotti

Welcome, Dispotech friends, to a new appointment with the news from our website.

Remember? A few months ago on our blog, we spoke of the possibility of Amazon entering the medical equipment business. If the company back then played its cards on the topic close to the chest but still allowed a not insignificant amount of interest to show, the news broadcast just days ago by CNBC via its website leaves no room for doubt: Amazon will be launching itself in the field of medical equipment production and has already hired high profile figures to deal with it.

According to sources very close to the online commerce giant, Taha Kass-Hout – the last head of the Health Informatics division of the Food and Drug Administration (the United States governmental agency in charge of regulating food products and drugs) was recruited very recently. Kass-Hout has been given the responsibility of team leader in Amazon’s experimental project aimed at conceptualising and designing devices and/or technologies that will help consumers access their personal medical data quicker and more easily.

Kass-Hout will be joined by another top level professional, namely, Babak Parviz, head of the Amazon Grand Challenge, as well as ex-manager of Google X, and who came on-board the Seattle headquarters as assistant manager a few years ago.

 

These are undoubtedly important moves which are much more eloquent than company spokespersons: the medical device project thus remains enshrouded in mystery. Amazon has limited itself to announcing a collaboration with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway “aimed at cutting healthcare costs and improving the quality of company workers”: no further information on the procedures, costs or project responsibility was given.

The recruitment of Kass-Hout, an expert in healthcare technologies and digital healthcare, was commented on by researchers and experts as a way for Amazon to explore and weigh the possibility of creating, in addition to medical equipment, hardware or software support able to collect highly sensitive medical data. The idea arises from the awareness that, in the United States, approximately 250,000 people die each year from medical errors caused increasingly by the lack or scarcity of data available for consultation in hospital databases.

The Amazon Grand Challenge team is 100% focused on the medical device project and has accepted a great challenge: getting involved and creating a share of the public for itself in a business that has been estimated as being worth a trillion dollars.

What do you think of the new Amazon project? Have your say by contacting Dispotech, your disposable excellence.

Emanuele Mortarotti
Author Emanuele Mortarotti

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