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Health care execs homing in on Amazon

Amazon offices.
Photo: Lisa Werner/Contributor/Getty Images

Plenty of tech companies are looking for ways to break into health care, but health care executives are focused squarely on just one tech company: Amazon.

The backdrop: Among the new technologies on the horizon, industry leaders have higher expectations for telemedicine than whiz-bang tools like artificial intelligence or blockchain.

What they’re saying: Healthcare Dive flags a recent survey of health professionals — mostly from hospitals, and mainly in senior corporate leadership roles — about the future of tech and health care.

  • Asked which new entrant would have the biggest impact on the health industry, 59% said Amazon. Apple placed second at 14%; no other company cracked double digits.
  • Just among CEOs, the results are even more stark — 75% of them said it’ll have the biggest impact of any tech competitor.

As for specific technologies, 29% of those surveyed said telemedicine will have the biggest impact on their industry, followed by artificial intelligence at 20%, and interoperability at 15%.

My thought bubble: Health care is hard to disrupt — that’s part of the reason no one has done it yet. It’s a heavily regulated space dominated by large, well-established companies. So it makes sense that the industry would see a large, wealthy company like Amazon as its most likely disruptor, even if smaller, more nimble startups are a greater threat in other sectors.