It’s no secret that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is heavily invested in more than just online retail sales. In just the past couple of years Amazon purchased Whole Foods and has partnered with the United States Postal Service to improve delivery to customers across the country. Now, it has been reported that Amazon is exploring certain technologies that could help provide direct medical support services to clients in need at home.
Amazon has traditionally been quite secretive about its various consumer related projects, but some inside sources admit that the company has been actively pursuing technology that might allow people to get improved health care from the comfort of their home.
One such opportunity may have involved a small startup called Confer Health. As noted in the CNBC blog, Amazon has explored getting into consumer health diagnostics – testing for disease at home, written by Christina Farr and Eugene Kim:
“Amazon’s secretive special projects group has considered products for consumers to conduct medical tests in the home, which could take the company into the health diagnostics space, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans.
Two people say the company was in discussions this year to buy a venture-backed diagnostics start-up called Confer Health, but those talks did not result in a deal. Via its web site, Confer develops hardware for at-home tests starting with fertility and infections like strep throat. Their tests are designed to provide clinical grade results at home without visiting the doctor’s office.”
At the time of this writing, it is unclear whether Amazon has decided to move forward with the acquisition of this company or is looking at other options. This move into home health-testing could be a strong indicator of the company’s desire to not just become invested in home health, but potentially redesign how some of these services are provided.
The technology that Confer Health has been developing involves allowing people to test and treat themselves for a range of conditions, including strep throat. The small startup has successfully raised about $10 million in venture capital.
If Amazon is to successfully venture into the realm of home health care, the world’s largest company would certainly have a significant impact on the industry as a whole. How it may directly affect home care agencies and aid to provide physical support services remains unclear, but if patients have access to more options regarding direct medical attention and treatment at home, it could change the landscape of more than just home care itself.
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