JPM: Amazon, Omada launch digital health benefits alliance

digital health monitoring
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Amazon has launched a health monitoring programme in partnership with Omada Health that aims to identify people who may be eligible for enrolment into the latter’s disease management programmes based on their online purchases.

The announcement, made at the annual JP Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco, is another sign of the e-commerce giant’s determination to capture a share of the US healthcare market, with a push that spans online pharmacy, telehealth, and other digital interactions with patients. It also ties into a growing recognition by Amazon that it cannot go it alone in health, and needs to partner with established players to fulfil its ambitions.

The new initiative is designed to improve the “awareness and discoverability” of Omada’s programmes for cardiometabolic conditions like diabetes and hypertension. When Amazon customers browse the site for pertinent products – which could include a set of scales or a blood pressure cuff, for example – they are directed to an Amazon page for a general coverage check, and then to Omada to complete the enrolment process if eligible.

The alliance with Omada is a foundational element in Amazon’s just-announced Health Condition Programmes designed to help people discover and enrol in virtual care benefits that are available to them through their employer or health plan at no extra cost. Omada does not currently have an offering available directly to consumers.

It is a companion to the company’s $9-per-month health plan – open to Prime members and delivered via its One Medical primary care division – which launched last year, as well as Amazon Clinic, which provides treatment plans for various common conditions.

“Amazon wants to make it easier for people to get and stay healthy, and part of that is making it easier to discover the products, services, and professionals that can help them do that,” said Aaron Martin, vice president of healthcare at Amazon.

“Many people aren’t aware of the health care benefits they’re eligible for, that are typically no cost or subsidised by their employer or insurance plan,” he added. “When customers are shopping for health-related products on Amazon, we can surface these additional health care benefits to them to provide even more support in improving their health, at no additional cost.”

For Omada, the move means that its more than 20 million eligible members can now sign up for its diabetes prevention, diabetes, and hypertension programmes through Amazon.

“This partnership is pivotal for Omada, as we are leveraging Amazon’s wide reach to literally meet consumers where they are, just as we do for our members as a virtual-first care provider,” said the company’s chief executive and co-founder, Sean Duffy.

“Ultimately, the more people we’re able to reach, the larger impact we can have on the rising prevalence of chronic disease.”

Other providers may be added to the Health Condition Programmes at a later date, broadening its scope.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees leave nearly 30% of their total compensation on the table through unused benefits, so, leveraging Amazon’s platform has the potential to deliver tangible public health benefits.

“The biggest challenge for chronic condition management solutions in a growing, saturated enterprise space is consumer awareness,” commented Ellen Rudolph, CEO and co-founder of digital autoimmune disease management company WellTheory.

“With the reach Omada has with enterprises, partnering with Amazon opens up doors in terms of distribution and letting consumers know that Omada is a benefit they have access to – at massive scale,” she added.

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