Is Amazon’s Health Care Pilot a Threat to Other Bigwigs?

Amazon’s AMZN focus on delivering quality healthcare service seamlessly at affordable cost is disrupting the multi-trillion-dollar healthcare industry.

The e-commerce giant’s latest launch of a health care pilot program in collaboration with Crossover Health is a testament to the same. Notably, this pilot is focused on setting up Neighborhood Health Centers near Amazon fulfilment and operation facilities.

The company is focused on making primary care services easily accessible to employees and their families on the back of the new program.Further, the latest move highlights Amazon’s commitment toward the welfare of employees.

We believe the latest move of Amazon is a major positive amid this pandemic. In fact, the move comes at an opportune time as conventional medical infrastructure is on the verge of collapsing due to increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

Consequently, the pilot program is expected to intensify the primary healthcare battle among tech bigwigs including Apple AAPL, Facebook FB, Alphabet GOOGL and Microsoft MSFT and retail behemoths — Walmart WMT and Best Buy BBY, which are also making every effort to capitalize on the burgeoning need of primary health care services.

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Amazon’s Aggressive Stance

Amazon, which has been aggressively trying to bolster presence in the promising healthcare industry by integrating AI,AR/VR, ML and data analytics technologies in its health offerings,has hit a masterstroke on the heels of its partnership with Crossover Health.

The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company initially intends to establish 20 Neighborhood Health Centers in five U.S. cities —Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, Louisville, Detroit and San Bernardino/Moreno Valley. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

These health care centers will offer acute, chronic, and preventive primary care. Amazon will be able to deliver behavioral health services, chiropractic care, prescription medications, vaccinations, physical therapy and same-day pediatric services among others.

Apart from the recent program, the company’s telehealth service —Amazon Care — that offers virtual medical consultations, rapid prescription delivery, remains noteworthy in the primary healthcare field.

Additionally, its healthcare joint venture namely Haven with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase aims at offering inexpensive healthcare experience to employees. This marks a significant move of Amazon in the healthcare sector.

Also, strengthening personal healthcare skills on Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa is helping it in rapidly penetrating the healthcare industry.

Apple, Facebook & Other Tech Giants in Fray

We note that efforts of Apple, Facebook, Alphabet and Microsoft are also leaving no stone unturned to foray into the primary healthcare field.

Apple, which carries a Zacks Rank #3, is benefiting from its expanding Apple Watch wearable series driven by the advanced fitness tracking technology. The built-in electrocardiogram (ECG) reader, helps in detecting an atrial fibrillation. Consequently, the company provides an advanced heart monitoring system to the Watch users in this fast-paced world.

Further, the company already has a partnership with Crossover Health with the help of which it provides primary care-focused health plans to employees.

Facebook is gaining on its personal digital healthcare tool namely Preventive Health that prompts users to get regular health checkups. Further, the tool also connects users with to healthcare service providers.

Also, this Zacks Rank #3 company has a tie-up with Crossover Health like Amazon, which helps it to provide primary healthcare services.

Microsoft, which carries a Zacks Rank #3, also offers primary healthcare on the back of its partnership with Crossover Health. Moreover, the company is rapidly penetrating in the healthcare industry on the back of its well-performing cloud computing unit —Azure.

Recently, the company rolled out its first industry-specific cloud offering —Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare — which is a major positive. Further, its recent strategic alliance with Allscripts is a tailwind. The alliance is focused on development and delivery of cloud-based health IT solutions.

Meanwhile, Alphabet’s growing healthcare initiatives remain noteworthy. The Zacks Rank #3 company’s Google and Verily divisions are gaining strong traction in the healthcare industry on the back of the advanced technologies such as AI, ML, cloud, analytics and AR/VR.

Further, the company’s telehealth endeavors remain major positives in the primary health field. Also, the company’s acquisition of DeepMind is a tailwind.

Walmart & Best Buy in Primary Health

It would be foolishto ignore the advances made by Walmart and CVS Health in this potential market.

Walmart is well-poised to bolster presence in the healthcare industry on the back of its Walmart Health Center program. The company offers primary care, laboratory services, community health education, medical counselling, dental, hearing, optical and X-ray services to customers at an affordable cost via this program.

This Zacks Rank #3 company has recently opened its new health and wellness clinic prototype in Springdale, which remains noteworthy.

Further, its buyout of Carezone remains a major step in the healthcare industry. Carezone is an application that helps users to manage their multiple medications seamlessly.

Meanwhile, Best Buy is also gaining steam from its laser-focused healthcare strategy, which aims at offering digital health service. Notably, this Zacks Rank #3 company provides healthcare services to the senior citizens at their homes.