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Amazon's strategy has been chaotic to say the least. This brings it into focus, at least for the time being. Today we explore what we can learn from the Omada announcement.


Today in health, it we're going to take a look at the Amazon OMATA announcement that just came out over the weekend. And see what we can determine it means for healthcare systems. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for 16 hospital system and creator of this week health. Set of channels and events dedicated to transform healthcare.

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Let's take a look at the announcement. I'm going to take this from Becker's and a post from. Let's see LinkedIn. That's where I'm going to take it from Aaron Martin posted something on LinkedIn and we'll go visit that a second. Here's the announcement. Amazon expands healthcare reach with Amita partnership.

It was unhealth. It's partnering with Almeda, a virtual first healthcare provider focusing on. Treating and preventing chronic conditions, including diabetes and hypertension. Oh, Meda and Amazon are launching the health condition programs. Which will promote Almeda. Cardio metabolic programs. With the goal of encouraging more consumers to enroll through their employer, sponsored. We're individual health plans. Nearly 25% of employees report they're unaware of all the benefits available to them through their health plan. According to an omega press release and the partnership between Amazon and Almeda aims to increase awareness. Of the diabetes prevention, diabetes and hypertension services. Through the partnership.

Amazon can identify people who search for diabetes prevention, and hypertension products. And promote a pathway for those consumers to see if they are eligible for it made us programs. Consumers can also find the general health care check. On Amazon house website and there'll be got it too. I made us website. If they are eligible to enroll. When the consumers are shopping for health-related products on Amazon, we can surface these benefits. To provide you more support. And improving their health at no additional costs at heard Martin. I mean accepts health plan enrollment from 1900 employer plans that include 20 million covered lives. All right.

So that's the story from. Becker's let's see what Erin Martin had to post on. Like Dem.

So this again, Aaron Martin does what he has say.

The core of what we do at Amazon health services is to make it easier for people to get and stay healthy. By the way that's going to be a key phrase here, and we're gonna come back to it. Sometimes that starts with something as simple as making people aware of health benefits. That may already have, they may already have through their employer or health insurance plan. And then he goes on to talk with Amazon's health condition programs. Customers can easily discover. Digital health benefits. I'm incredibly excited to announce somebody to health, so forth and so on. And then he has a link to that and 163 people have linked to and liked it.

And I wonder why. Actually. All right, so let's go to my take on this thing. So the core of what Amazon health services is to make it easier for people to get and stay healthy. Over the last year and a half, I commented when Aaron Martin went to Amazon, that they needed him, that their health strategy was all over the place. And then as recently as six months ago, A bunch of their. Health people were interviewed. And the article was so all over the place that I was wondering if Aaron was having any impact whatsoever. We get to the strategy was so convoluted. And I was surprised that they allowed that kind of messaging to get out because it was so old.

It was just all over the board. This. As about as clear as it has been, we can argue whether it's the right strategy or the wrong strategy. But this is about as clear as it's ever been. And from that perspective, it's the right strategy. Anytime you're clear. It's a good for the market. It's good for your services.

All right. So the core of what we do at Amazon health services is to make it easier for people to get and stay healthy. They're not competing directly with health systems per se. They are not going after sick care. They're going after WellCare. So this aligns them more to compete with people like transparent with Google and. With a whole host of other players or partner with them. To keep people healthy now to a certain extent, this competes with the hospitals and health systems and that this will hopefully. Keep people out of the health systems and the hospitals, which will continue to put pressure on margins and revenue in those kinds of things. But this at least. Identifies the area where Amazon's going to play. I think it's also interesting to take a look at their Amazon health condition programs. This is smart.

And by the way, if I've, if I'm working at Google, I'm reading this and going. We could do this a lot better than them. And they could do this a lot better than them. They should just take it, take the blueprint. And copied over to Google. But with that being said, this is a really good strategy.

People searching for certain equipment, certain things, certain items. Within the Amazon world. And then them linking them to providers like Almeda. Linking them to to hard goods and other things. And linking them to the Amazon pharmacy and other things to that effect. So it's linking all these disparate systems. That Amazon has sprung up over the years. And starting to weave them together into a narrative, into a set of services and into a narrative that actually makes sense to people.

Oh, if I have diabetes, There is a suite of services that Amazon can bring to bear on this, including low cost drugs, including. Omega health, including some other things, which I'm sure they're looking at. And not only that they're going to help you to navigate is this covered by insurance? Is it not covered by insurance?

Not necessarily a service that Amazon offers, but it's definitely a service. That Almeda offers that they will help us help me. To determine whether it's part of my employer program or not. So I find this to be interesting. The question that I most often get asked around these kinds of announcements is. Should we be looking to partner with. These kinds of services. And the answer is. It depends. I know, I hate that answer to. But it really depends. You have to be careful. In these partnerships. For example. If they get in between the dissertation. Disintermediation that can happen if they get in between you and the customer. Is hard to recover from if ever recover from. You don't just allow people to step in between you and your customer. Because that is where the relationship happens.

And if they disintermediate you, they can then direct the services wherever they want to go. And so you always have to be cautious of that as you're entering into these partnerships. Now, with that being said, they have a core capability in terms of logistics, in terms of offering a services in terms of digital experience. That the health system doesn't have today. Now if you're a smaller house system and there's no. Foreseeable path for you to develop those services for your community. Then yes, you should figure out a way to partner. if You are a larger system, have the wherewithal to develop some of these services. Yeah, I wouldn't seed. That ground to a player. That could potentially disrupt you later. I'm not sure that's a good strategy.

I'm not sure anyone or any in any MBA program. Would recommend that kind of strategy. I think you need. To develop the skills and capabilities to get closer to your client, develop those those kinds of capabilities. Internally, whether it be development, capabilities, analytics, capabilities. Logistics services and capabilities, the ability to take your services. Into new modalities, taking them to the home, taking them to the place of business and those kinds of things. You're going to have to develop some skills that Amazon has as core competency, and they're going to have to develop some skills. That you have score competency.

And the question is what serves the consumer the best. Because that's where they're going to go. Where there's the least friction where there's the best quality where there's an existing relationship or a valued relationship. That's where they're going to go. So anyway, that's my read on this. Today.

I think it's a good move. I think there's some clarity coming. To the Amazon strategy. And I think it will create some opportunities and some questions that we need to answer as we move forward. As health system leaders. All right. That's all for today. Don't forget. Share this podcast with a friend or colleague, keep the conversation going.

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