The impact of the COVID-19 continues to influence the demands of healthcare consumers. Big healthcare companies need to change along with these demands to stay relevant.
One of the aspects of these necessary changes is the trend for digital transformation among healthcare players, and recently this trend was supported by some of the largest world tech companies — Alphabet, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon.
Such interest in the healthcare industry from these companies clearly signifies the growing global importance of healthcare software development services and public awareness on the matter.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at ways these healthcare giants use to influence the market and change the healthcare industry for all participants.
Amazon is one of the most active participants in the tech healthcare market in recent years. It is actively invading the industry with projects powered by Amazon Web Services or AWS, the company’s branch that focuses on cloud technologies.
The main areas of the Amazon healthcare strategy are health insurance, care delivery, and the healthcare supply chain. Being a company based upon delivery services, Amazon obviously believes the distribution of medical supplies to be their most perspective activity, but also shows interest in telehealth.
Here are some solutions by Amazon that have already been implemented in the healthcare industry:
- Haven — a non-profit healthcare organization created in cooperation with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase
- Amazon Care — a service for the creation of Care Teams, networks connecting a patient with all the medical professionals involved in his healthcare and establishing their intercommunication
- Alexa — a globally well-known virtual assistant technology that provides many useful features, including ones associated with healthcare
- PillPack — part of Amazon Pharmacy solution, PillPack is a service that helps customers manage their day-to-day medications for chronic conditions
Back in 2019, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said: “If you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?’ It will be about health”. Considering this, you can imagine how serious the technology giant is about solidifying its place as one of the leading health technology companies.
Recently Apple is trying to turn their portable devices into multipurposed wellbeing-management devices, as well as to prove top-level research tools for clinical use.
The most known Apple healthcare product, the Apple Watch, keeps getting better with each iteration. It also uses the Health Record feature provided by iPhones, creating a connection between healthcare-providing organizations and patients.
The main benefit Apple brings to the table is the network of connections between Apple customers, medical researchers and health systems. The amount and quality of features that the Apple Watch provides is all due to the company’s efforts to establish its device as a tool acceptable in serious clinical research.
Some of the Apple’s initiatives:
- Genetic tests — Apple actually offers their employees free genetic testing, which helps with the early discovery of genetic conditions
- Apple Watch — an iconic wearable device that helps with many wellbeing-care tasks such as sleep management
Alphabet boasts some of the industry’s deepest expertise in data storage and artificial intelligence, and their projects are mostly dedicated to enhancing precision healthcare, and predictive analytical capabilities of the industry. They also care a great deal about the customer’s finances, trying to cut the costs of healthcare wherever it is possible.
Alphabet has also purchased Fitbit (one of the global leaders in wearables manufacturing) back in 2019, significantly widening the health-tracking potential of their projects.
Alphabet states that its mission is to address the most challenging issues in interoperability, streamline the medical research process, and facilitate Google telehealth developments. Their immense storage and analytical capabilities allow them to make rapid advances in the sphere of infrastructure-enhancing solutions.
Some Apple projects and solutions::
- DeepMind — artificial intelligence research laboratory that stays on the edge of neural network progress
- Google Fit — a multiplatform health-tracking solution that aggregates data from several sources to create a comprehensive health picture
- FitBit — the large wearables-producing company recently purchased by Google
Trying to get their fingers into as many pies as possible, Microsoft presents perhaps the largest competition to Alphabet and Amazon, particularly in the area of cloud services.
Microsoft’s ace card is Azure — a cloud platform that provides immense possibilities in data analytics, optimizing information storage, and getting better health outcomes for specific categories of the population.
Microsoft works hard to promote its program called Healthcare NExT, trying to establish a global brand that would allow the company to solidify its position in the global healthcare industry.
Here are some healthcare solutions by Microsoft:
- Healthcare NExT — an initiative aimed to transform the industry by augmenting existing technology with new solutions from Microsoft AI units
- Microsoft Genomics — a HIPAA-compliant, ISO-certified service providing modern genome analysis tools for sequencing needs of the healthcare industry
Future of Big tech in Healthcare
All companies we have mentioned earlier are only beginning their way to domination in the healthcare industry, but some of their projects already show great potential.
The coming of players of such size and magnitude to the industry almost certainly means that they will dictate the rules pretty soon. That is why one of the main concerns for healthcare players such as hospitals and pharma companies right now is planning their strategies. There is much to be gained from market changes, but it could easily turn bad if you’re not prepared.