The trend: Big Tech is coming for healthcare—we’ve heard that before, right? The trials and tribulations of Big Tech players trying to carve their presence in healthcare have been well documented. But that hasn’t stopped these billion-dollar enterprises jostling for position in the $11+ trillion global healthcare market.
Below, we detail the biggest healthcare moves Big Tech players made in 2022.
It bought a primary care group and opted to turn its B2B virtual care division into a D2C platform.
Amazon acquired primary care disruptor One Medical in July for $3.9 billion.
Why it matters: The acquisition puts Amazon in close competition with CVS Health's and Walgreens' primary care ambitions. We think Amazon could be eyeing an insurance asset next–perhaps a senior-focused company to dovetail with One Medical’s Medicare Advantage segment (Iora Health), which accounts for half of the primary care group's revenue.
Why it matters: Many common services such as lab tests or other diagnostic procedures aren’t included in the new clinic, raising questions about Amazon’s ability to compete with existing D2C healthcare brands like Hims & Hers, Thirty Madison, and Ro.
Throughout the year, it signaled a sharp turn from the company’s previous consumer-facing approach to healthcare.
Google scored a coup by securing electronic health record (EHR) company Meditech as a client for its Care Studio platform.
Why it matters: The partnership allows Google to get Care Studio in clinicians’ hands at various new health systems considering Meditech has over 600 hospital clients.
Google Cloud and Epic also partnered to enable the EHR company’s health system customers to migrate to the cloud.
Why it matters: The tie-up is a big win for Google Cloud since EHR vendor partners come with preexisting health system clients.
We think this is a sensible bet given the company’s lineup of assets that aim to help B2B customers improve operations.
Why it matters: These added services are helping Microsoft win over providers and payers who are increasingly giving Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare high marks for its products’ capabilities. The cloud provider recently reeled in Jefferson Health, Mount Sinai Health System, and UPMC as new customers.
There wasn’t one distinctive healthcare development that stuck out for Apple in 2022, which could explain why the company released a 60-page report explaining how its healthcare work is meaningful.
So what? Our big takeaway from the report was that Apple’s getting more serious about being a trusted healthcare research partner, teaming up with various medical institutions to let users enroll in health studies using their iPhone.
Our take on Big Tech in health: These four tech giants aren’t embarking on equivalent healthcare paths, but they’re all benefiting from pandemic-era trends. These include providers and payers looking for more efficient ways to analyze data and the use of consumer-facing technologies to deliver and manage care.
As they penetrate further into healthcare, Big Tech companies are learning important lessons along the way and adjusting their business strategies accordingly. Amazon is a prime (no pun intended) example. Employers and insurers weren’t seeing the value in what Amazon Care offered them compared to market competitors, so the company shut it down and rolled out consumer-focused health services, cutting payers out of the picture. Time will tell if the plan ultimately works out, but it’s a sign that Big Tech firms aren’t afraid to fail and refocus.
Heading into 2023, we’ll likely see more M&As, partnerships, and healthcare-specific innovation as Big Tech entities flush with capital can take risks that incumbents cannot. Their ability to provide software and services that deliver digitally driven efficiency across the healthcare ecosystem will put legacy players on notice and pressure them to adapt to new market realities.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Digital Health Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the healthcare industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.