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Is Amazon making a move into health insurance?

GROWTH: Amazon

AMAZON HAS come on leaps and bounds since it began its heavy acquisition period – and, with the e-commerce giant diversified in plenty of fields at this point, there is no counting anything out that might provide further portfolio diversification.

Health insurance would be a huge coup for technology companies as the sector still runs much as it has done for years. But is Amazon primed for a move into the health insurance game? And what message would this send for tech going forwards?

Amazon’s Healthcare Investment

One of Amazon’s early investors, John Doerr, is convinced that Bezos will move further into healthcare and aim to fill a major gap in the US market: health insurance. This makes sense as Amazon is largely in the information game – collecting and collating data on its users – which can then be used to help them live healthier lives.

But how would this move affect Amazon's stock prices? Indeed, a third-quarter 2018 revenue dip saw the stock price fall by 7%, showing how intricately linked the stock is to the performance of the company's finances.

The move could potentially see stock prices increase if implemented correctly. Whether Amazon's stocks are doing well or not, it’s now important to more people than before, as CFDs (contracts for difference) have made investing in major stock markets more accessible to more people with the ease of opening a CFD account to trade online, even using a smartphone.


IG

To anticipate Amazon’s plans in healthcare is to study the previous acquisitions it has made and its business trajectory thus far. Notably, 2017 saw Amazon acquire Whole Foods, the health-conscious grocery provider, which implies that their move towards healthy living has been in the works.

Healthcare and digital

Pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers spent 2018 forging alliances with Amazon and Apple to bring their offerings into the 21st century and to harness the best that technology has to offer.

Apple’s Watch began monitoring health information on its users with electrocardiograms, which helped indicate what, if any, they may need to do differently to live a healthier life and have a healthier looking ECG. Medicare Advantage – a series of government-approved health insurance providers – have already signed up to many technology companies to gain better features in order to better care for their recipients.

Indeed, an insurance company only makes money if it keeps the people who use the service as healthy as possible, so if technology can help extend lives, teach about healthier living and provide key medical information and advice, then it benefits everyone. CareMore Health has already signed a deal with transport company Lyft to pay for seniors using their car services for medical reasons.


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Part of Amazon moving into healthcare – and Apple and Alphabet following – is that the future of healthcare will be spurred on by digital means. The Big Four (Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook) are goliaths in the digital sphere, a sphere which has already benefited many sectors from supply chain logistics to entertainment, and marketing. The data collected by the four will no doubt help feed into any health insurance plans – like a black box in a car to help bring down car insurance by showcasing safe and steady driving is wearable electrocardiograms from Apple’s Watch.

Making healthy choices linked to your data self will likely bring your insurance down. If Amazon moves into health insurance, the gate is opened for digital companies to begin using tech to eradicate the ways of the past and to really shake many industries.

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