Amazon Takes on Health Systems with New Care Management Program

By Eric Wicklund

Amazon has launched a new service aimed at helping consumers manage their chronic conditions.

Health Condition Programs, which was unveiled on January 8 during the JP Morgan Conference, gives the online retail giant a significant platform in the healthcare space—and another reason for healthcare executives to fret about competition from disruptors. The service gives consumers a virtual link to a personalized care team to help manage their health.

“Amazon wants to make it easier for people to get and stay healthy, and part of that is making it easier to discover the products, services, and professionals that can help them do that,” Aaron Martin, Amazon’s vice president, said in a press release issued by Omada Health, a digital health company that is partnering with Amazon to offer diabetes prevention and care  and hypertension care services through the new platform. “Many aren’t aware of the healthcare benefits they are eligible for, that are typically no cost or subsidized by their employer or insurance plan. When customers are shopping for health-related products on Amazon, we can surface these benefits to provide even more support in improving their health, at no additional cost.”

Amazon will partner with companies like Omada Health to cover a wide range of chronic health conditions, creating a care management path that would traditionally be handled by one’s primary care doctor or health system.

The company matches consumers to the appropriate care team based on their online searches and shopping history. Consumers accessing the program can first find out if their employer or health plan covers the Health Condition Program; if the program is covered, the consumer can then access services such as virtual visits, health coaching, remote patient monitoring, and access to online forums and other resources.

The program gives consumers convenient and virtual access to care management, an option to the often complicated task of scheduling appointments with primary care doctors and specialists and visiting doctors’ offices or clinics.

“This partnership is pivotal for Omada, as we are leveraging Amazon’s wide reach to literally meet consumers where they are, just as we do for our members as a virtual-first care provider,” Omada Health CEO and Co-Founder Sean Duffy said in the press release. “Ultimately, the more people we’re able to reach, the larger impact we can have on the rising prevalence of chronic disease.”

The platform gives healthcare executives yet another reason to develop virtual care programs to compete with the disruptors, focusing on convenient access to a trusted healthcare provider or health system.

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, Telehealth, Supply Chain and Pharma for HealthLeaders.