Alexa: What can we expect from Amazon in healthcare? That was the title of my keynote address at last week’s Massachusetts/Rhode Island Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) managed care conference.
My basic message was that while other tech companies have stumbled in healthcare or at best made a bunch of money without really impacting the overall system, Amazon has the potential to do a lot more. It is still unlikely to transform the system, but it has the best shot.
In particular, Amazon has the potential to help shift healthcare to the home, and to surround patients with the full complement of lifestyle products and services to address social determinants of health and wellness. Amazon Prime, Echo, Dash and Key give Amazon unparalleled access to the home and make the company the default for any purchase.
Amazon Web Services is also a strategic asset as healthcare moves to the cloud; new devices like the Echo Look (introduced as a fashion assistant) have real potential in healthcare, too.
The company’s very long term outlook (which I illustrated with a reference to Jeff Bezos’ 10,000 year clock) and the fact that everyone is willing to provide Amazon with free advice, are also differentiators.
SafeRide Health is focused on redesigning the non emergency medical transportation experience to reduce patient risk and streamline care coordination. In this podcast interview, co-founders (and brothers) Robbins and Whit Schrader talk about how losing a friend to DUI in their teenage years got them started down the entrepreneurial path to what became Saferide.
(0:10) What are the main challenges in medical transportation?
(0:47) What is the impact?
(2:04) What is NEMT? How well does it work?
(3:16) There is a revolution going on with transport, especially companies like Uber and Lyft. Lyft is a partner. How does that work?
(4:21) What is the experience like for the typical patient? How does it vary depending on whether or not you are involved?
(6:12) You said you can drive the no show rate down by half for one client, just by improving transportation. Is that replicable?
(6:57) How did you come up with the concept for this company? How does it go as brothers working together?
(8:05) How do markets differ: urban/rural, different geographies? Can it work outside of cities?
(9:29) Where are things headed? How much tie in is there with healthcare delivery?
(10:30) How do autonomous vehicles fit in?
(11:23) When you work with Lyft, does the driver know they’re getting a patient versus a regular retail customer?
“My guess is that regulators would not like this,” said David E. Williams, president of the Boston consulting firm Health Business Group. “There’s no compelling logic for a merger here. There would be a lot of resistance to it.”
Williams said he doesn’t see a good business reason for a merger since Partners and Harvard Pilgrim, one of the largest health insurers in Massachusetts, could choose to work together more closely while remaining independent.