Amazon's Business unit wants to be a supplier of medical products to hospitals and clinics around the country.
According to news from The Wall Street Journal, Amazon Business has hosted meetings with executives from hospitals around the U.S. at its Seattle headquarters during the past months, with the most recent conference taking place at the end of January. Amazon Business is using these meetings to discuss the opportunity with hospital executives and gather their opinions about entering the market, which currently relies on contracts between hospitals, distributors and manufacturers.
The idea is to turn Amazon Business, its business-to-business marketplace, into an online store where hospitals can purchase medical equipment and supplies for its outpatient clinics, operating rooms and emergency rooms. The Wall Street Journal noted the eCommerce giant is currently trialing a program with a large Midwestern hospital system that is using Amazon Business to order medical supplies for its approximately 150 outpatient facilities.
In a statement to the WSJ, Amazon said it’s developing technology to sell to healthcare customers, aiming to provide hospitals with a marketplace that is different from how hospitals purchase supplies today.
“Our goal is to be something new,” Chris Holt, leader of Global Healthcare at Amazon Business, said in the WSJ’s report. “We’ve been actively building out new capabilities and features.” The executive believes the current system to procure supplies is dated, explaining that Amazon aims to transform it rather than create something that already exists.
Late last month, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced they were teaming up to create an independent healthcare company that aims to fix the nation’s healthcare system. In a press release, the three said they are working on ways to address healthcare for their U.S. employees, focusing on reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction. To achieve that, the collaborative will create a constraint-free independent company that isn’t focused on profit-making incentives. Its initial focus will be on using technology to provide U.S. employees and their families with easier, high-quality, transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.