Amazon acquires digital health startup Health Navigator

Amazon acquires digital health startup Health Navigator - us-canada

The front desk of the Amazon office is envisioned at New York, May 1, 2019.

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

Amazon has made its second acquisition in the health-care space, snapping up a startup named Health Navigator, which offers technology and services to electronic health businesses.

Amazon confirmed the acquisition to CNBC, and stated that Health Navigator will combine the provider’s Amazon Care group, which started in September. Amazon Care is intended to function as a medical benefit for workers and helps provide care almost, through a movie trip, and with home visits if extra care is required.

“The service eliminates travel and wait time, connecting employees and their family members to a physician or nurse practitioner through live chat or video, with the option for in-person follow up services from a registered nurse ranging from immunizations to instant strep throat detection,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in an email.

With only about a dozen workers, based on LinkedIn, Health Navigator is much smaller than the first health-related company Amazon obtained, PillPack. Amazon paid $753 million for PillPack last year to leap to the online pharmacy industry. While Amazon is investing significantly in the PillPack industry and contains approximately 50 job openings for the device listed on its site, the market has turned out to be a struggle with established players in the market fighting to maintain Amazon from accessing individual information or employ their workers .

PillPack was folded into Amazon’s consumables group under Nader Kabbani, a vice president.

Health Navigator was set in 2014 by David Thompson, the CEO. Thompson is recognized in the health care industry for developing a set of protocols, called Schmitt-Thompson, which became the standard way for physicians and other clinicians to steer patients to the perfect location, typically via telephone centers. Thompson, who did not respond to a request for comment, is also an emergency medicine doctor and part-time faculty member at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, based on his LinkedIn profile. 

On its own website, Health Navigator explains how it works with partners such as Microsoft to supply things like symptom-checking tools which can assist with remote diagnoses, and with triage, helping patients determine whether to remain in the home, visit a doctor or go straight to the emergency room. Many of its clients are telemedicine companies, which provide virtual home exams and programs for physicians to get in touch with patients.

Health Navigator’s site does not yet mention an acquisition, but the company has communicated it won’t renew its contract with existing clients, according to two people knowledgeable about the matter who asked not to be named due to confidentiality.

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Amazon acquires digital health startup Health Navigator - us-canada

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