Healthcare News & Tech

Apple, Amazon, Google & Healthcare

September 26, 2018

Physician holding a phone with a mobile digital health app projecting a hologram of a patient's vitals.

Technology has created lanes for many people, businesses and industries to seek and attain enormous progress. The healthcare industry, in particular, has rapidly evolved in recent years through partnering with technological innovators. Many such partnerships have been forged through creative collaborations with companies not traditionally active in healthcare.

The most recent whirlwind of tech companies making a strong dive into healthcare include some of tech’s biggest giants- Apple, Amazon, and Google. As major disrupters in the industry, their strengths hold great promise when applied to healthcare. All three companies have a specialty that serves as its signature, and that signature stands to propel them to unique success.

Matrix outline of a human body plus two other white human body figures against a green background.

Apple and Amazon both made their trek into healthcare in late 2017. Apple initially gained favor in the public eye due to one of the major priorities in all of their products- consumer privacy. Electronic health record (EHR) management, while almost universally adopted in the last decade due to regulatory and consumer demands, is a top concern for healthcare CIOs. Compliance with federal guidelines like HIPAA and the vulnerability of cloud-based data management platforms to cyberattacks makes Apple’s data security measures invaluable.

Apple is expected to offer a competitive solution for optimizing EHR interoperability that maintains the security of protected health information (PHI). It also is already reshaping patient engagement through Apple Health Records, a phone app that aggregates patient-generated data with data from a patient’s EHR. A spate of ransomware attacks on hospitals and health plans in recent years has elevated cybersecurity to the top priority for any healthcare company. Apple delving into healthcare, with its products and services, is expected to be instrumental in bolstering the security of patients’ private data.

Close up of hand holding a smart phone with an xray of a normal hand on the screen.

Amazon is known for its unparalleled success in e-commerce. Entering the medical world, Amazon has immense potential to disrupt the hospital and provider supply chain, pharmaceutical distribution and sales, telemedicine, and more. Case in point is its recent $1 billion-dollar acquisition of online pharmacy PillPak which was followed by a drop in stock values for Rite Aid, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and CVS Alliance the day the deal was announced. Amazon and PillPak both stand to benefit from Amazon’s broad reach through its Prime membership program and its wholesale infrastructure that can easily support regular, consistent prescription drug deliveries. These two companies will be able to capitalize on not only their specialties, but also the confidence of their consumer bases.

Google, known as the most-used search engine on the world wide web, is leveraging its ability to gather, process and share information in its entry into healthcare. Verily, DeepMind, and Calico- Google’s three subsidiaries focused on healthcare- are all harnessing Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) expertise to generate predictive analytics for boosting research and implementing targeted patient interventions. They also are focused on enabling healthcare interoperability through building a new database infrastructure and optimizing the API platform it gained with its 2016 acquisition of Apigee.

As more companies aim to disrupt healthcare, the industry will have to keep pace with technological innovations, testing the flexibility of EHR management systems while maintaining cybersecurity. Technological development enables progress which helps healthcare providers in their commitment to deliver quality healthcare. 

Advanced Medical Reviews (AMR), an independent review organization (IRO), is an industry leader in its niche through its commitment to quality, service, innovation. Whether processing independent medical reviews in behavioral health, disability, or workers’ compensation, AMR’s work is grounded in its belief statement- we believe every patient should receive quality healthcare. AMR, much like Google, Apple, and Amazon, maintains a commitment to offering advanced technology whose quality assurance and security measures meet or exceed industry standards and, ultimately, ensure the patient receives appropriate and necessary care.

Apple, Amazon, Google & Healthcare