National Headlines

Just for U.S. Employees … Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Team Up to Disrupt Health Care

The move comes amid growing speculation that Amazon is likely to enter the prescription drug business and that has sent tremors through the pharmaceutical supply chain. Amazon has a secret skunkworks lab called 1492, dedicated to health care tech. Areas of exploration include a platform for electronic medical record data, telemedicine and health apps for existing devices like the Amazon Echo. The new team is currently looking at opportunities that involve pushing and pulling data from legacy electronic medical record systems. If successful, Amazon could make that information available to consumers and their doctors. It is also hoping to build a platform for telemedicine, which in turn could make it easier for people to have virtual consultations with doctors, one of the people said. The group is also exploring health applications for existing Amazon hardware, including Echo and Dash Wand. Hospitals and doctor’s offices have already dabbled in developing skills for Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa, which presents a big opportunity for the e-commerce company. It’s not clear whether Amazon is building any new health devices, but sources didn’t rule it out. ~CNBC

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Amazon likely seeks to arrange services from hospitals, clinics, and physicians for employees of corporations and state governments. Amazon might service retired workers covered by Medicare in a manner similar to its presumed plans for employees.; Jan. 11, 2018


SEATTLE — Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced on Tuesday that they would form an independent health care company to serve their employees in the United States. The three companies provided few details about the new entity, other than saying it would initially focus on technology to provide simplified, high-quality health care for their employees and their families, and at a reasonable cost. They said the initiative, which is in the early planning stages, would be a long-term effort “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” The partnership brings together three of the country’s most influential companies to try to improve a system that other companies have tried and failed to change: Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world; Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company led by the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett; and JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States by assets.

CNBC: Amazon has a secret health tech team called 1492 working on medical records, virtual doc visits


By Fortune Editors and Reuters Updated: January 30, 2018 7:53 AM ET

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and J.P. Morgan Chase are forming a not-for-profit health care venture to lower health care Amazon has a secret skunkworks lab called 1492, dedicated to health care tech. Areas of exploration include a platform for electronic medical record data, telemedicine and health apps for existing devices like the Amazon Echo.costs for their U.S. employees, the companies announced Tuesday morning, sparking a slide in the shares of a host of health care-related companies. The initial focus of the independent company will be on technology that will provide their U.S. employees and their families with simplified and high-quality health care at accessible costs, the companies said.


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Medical startup originally backed by Jeff Bezos and other big name investors reportedly closing — Qliance was originally a well-funded startup, with a total of $33 million raised in 2013. The company’s backers included Bezos, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, Zillow Chairman Rich Barton, comedian and Seattle Sounders owner Drew Carey, Dell founder Michael Dell and others. ~Geekwire; May 17, 2017

Amazon gets into healthcare with Warren Buffet and JPMorgan

By Steve Dent,

Amazon just took a surprising turn into the healthcare industry, teaming up with investing hero Warren Buffet and New York-based bank JPMorgan Chase, the Washington Post reports. The project is still in the planning stages, so there isn’t yet a lot of info on what form it will take. The idea, however, is to reduce costs while improving patient care with the aid of technology. “The ballooning costs of (health care) act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffet said in a statement. The new health company will be independent of its founding firms and “free from profit-making incentives and constraints,” it said. It will be led by executives from all three firms, with much of its focus on employer-granted health benefits, it seems. “Our goal is to create solutions that benefit our US employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans,” said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. There were some clues that Amazon was dabbling in healthcare. CNBC reported last summer that a secret “1492 squad” at Amazon was posting jobs related to the use of medical records, had invested in cancer startup Grail, and hired a healthcare and life sciences director away from Box. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also noted recently that Alexa and Echo devices could be used by both health providers and patients.

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