Big Tech jumps into the healthcare realm

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Big Tech jumps into the healthcare realm
Big Tech jumps into the healthcare realm
08-03-2020 02:00 pm
(Business Insider, August 3, 2020) Big Tech is in the news still, but this time we're talking healthcare. If you use your Apple watch or any other device to count steps, calories, and daily overall health, you're already involved in what the tech industry is calling a 'takeover' of healthcare. 

These apps and devices are basically accessories, and not considered a replacement to the doctors office, but that could soon change. The biggest four tech companies; Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, and Amazon are accelerating their pursuit of the healthcare market. 

Healthcare organizations have had to adapt to a population that's growing sicker, heightened costs, and consumer demands for more convenient services. With the strides that big tech companies have made in these areas, healthcare organizations have looked to tech as an attractive candidate for partnership. 

Microsoft has dropped it's consumer facing wearables health record system to narrow its focus on its cloud offerings for health systems. Apple is doing clinical research initiatives from its wearables, and Alphabet (a Google company) is focusing on its AI expertise to drive precision medicine. Amazon is reaching accross the board - from pharmacy to medical supply delivery to telehealth. While this may mean positive things (like access to services) for consumers, some companies are upset that Big Tech is encroaching on their space. 

Amazon's prescription delivery has traditional pharmacies looking for ways to retain their customer bases. This may be a simple case as "out with the old, in with the new", but it's easy to see why Big Pharma wouldn't want Big Tech getting in the way. Is this better for consumers in the long run? Maybe not. Considering Big Tech has had its fair share of problems in the privacy department, so these new technological advances may not be adopted by all - at least not right away. 

Whatever happens, convenient access to prescriptions, health information, and deliveries sounds like a good thing overall. 



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