Amazon to acquire primary-care provider One Medical for $3.9 billion

Amazon is acquiring One Medical, a primary care provider, for an estimated $3.9 billion, according to the companies on Thursday. 

This is not Amazon’s first move into healthcare, in fact, Amazon acquired PillPack in 2018 for $750 million, which it used to launch its own online pharmacy. Amazon has also been ramping up its business in telehealth service with Amazon Care, and apparently has further plans to develop at-home medical diagnostics. 

Source: Pixabay under CC0 licence

The deal, should it go through to completion, would mean that Amazon would be in possession of over 700,000 One Medical customers’ medical data. However, this has raised concerns over data privacy following Amazon’s recent news of giving policy footage from its Ring cameras without customers’ knowledge or getting consent. 

Patient confidentiality has come under scrutiny following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade. Amazon has apparently stated in an email to CNBC they will follow HIPPA laws and protections to not use customer medical data for marketing and advertising purposes and that the protected health information will be handled separately from other Amazon businesses. 

Unfortunately, data privacy continues to be a hot topic. Facebook is still trying to shake off its the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal which saw personal data belonging to millions of Facebook users collected without their consent by British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, predominantly to be used for political advertising back in the 2010s. It seems that how customers’ data is being handled by companies is still a concern for users. 

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