Over the past few years we have all seen the rise of major tech and consumer companies entering the healthcare space. From Google to Amazon to Uber, these powerhouses are changing the way healthcare is delivered and understood. As healthcare communicators and avid consumers of healthcare news, we see the impact these companies are having on our everyday lives. From attempting to lower healthcare costs to making it easier for us to get to our appointments on time, these three companies are disrupting the healthcare space in innovative ways:
- Google: In November 2018, Google reabsorbed Artificial Intelligence (AI) DeepMind Health unit – where researchers have been studying the use of AI in mammograms and CT scans. The company also utilizes the Streams app, which is used to analyze test results for irregularities. These irregularities are then immediately reported to the physician along with information on how to help the patient.
- Amazon: Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway teamed up in the summer of 2018 to launch a new company whose goal is to offer high value, lower-cost healthcare services to their employees in the U.S. More recently, Amazon also announced that it wants to partner with researchers, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and researchers to help analyze medical data through their machine-learning tool Amazon Comprehend Medical. And who can forget Amazon’s Alexa, where a partnership with Omron Health was announced in early December to help people manage their high blood pressure through connecting their Omron cuff to an app that feeds into Alexa, helping them easily access their latest blood pressure results or remind them to record their blood pressure throughout the day.
- Uber: In March 2018, Uber announced “Uber Health,” helping patients and caregivers get rides to their doctor’s appointments – healthcare professionals can book a car for their patients either in advance or right before their appointment. According to CNBC, Uber also hired two new health executives further re-affirming the company’s commitment to helping people secure reliable rides to their doctor’s appointments.