Smith told WIRED that Amazon complies with federal laws and regulations and aligns with industry standards to keep patient health information confidential and secure. Amazon Clinic customer data is protected using HIPAA-compliant encryption methods. “Protecting patient information is an important part of our business. We are not in the business of selling or sharing it,” Smith wrote.
Amazon’s recent efforts to get into healthcare raise more fundamental questions. The motives of private enterprise – efficiency, optimization and, above all, profit – do not quite align with serving the public good, says a professor at Radboud University in the Netherlands who studies big tech politics and ethics. He says Tamar Sharon. Health and Medicine, or, as she dubbed it, “Health Googled.”
Amazon Care, the telemedicine service Amazon piloted among its employees and then rolled out to other customers, shows how things can go wrong. Its closure was announced months ago, and his senior vice president of programs, Neil Lindsay, wrote in an internal memo Amazon shared with his WIRED: It served the large enterprise customers we’ve been targeting, and it didn’t work in the long run. ”
But it also suffered from other problems.a washington post Research claims that traveling at peak speed and efficiency can be inconsistent with medical best practices. protested. (Amazon said. Position I was unable to find any records of complaints regarding these issues. )
“Amazon Care follows common home care practices and knows they’re safe and appropriate,” Smith told WIRED. “For example, an Amazon Care clinician is always equipped with her Stericycle medical waste return device to properly and safely return or dispose of supplies.”
A big concern for Sharon is how much she risks relying on large corporations as intermediaries for basic public needs. “This is a dangerous situation: we become dependent on a handful of private providers for the distribution of very basic commodities such as health, education and public services,” she said. For example, as these companies increasingly fund and conduct their own research, it can influence how research agendas are set. If the emphasis is on funding longevity research rather than cancer treatments, that could be a problem.
But it’s not always inherently bad for private companies to enter the public space, says Wachter. Without a doubt, America’s multi-trillion dollar healthcare system is a perfect target for new entrants. As Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, points out in a newsletter, health care costs in the United States far exceed those of other rich countries, but life expectancy is short and new. We create service opportunities. To provide better value to patients. “The U.S. health care industry is wounded, he is a seven-ton seal, drifting aimlessly into the ocean, predators circling,” he wrote. “The Amazon is a lurking megalodon whose 11-foot jaw and 7-inch teeth are the biggest ever.”
It could be argued that Amazon is simply filling a gap in a broken system. With the new service, the company appears to be applying the same principles that have made it successful as a retailer: easy access, fast shipping, competitive pricing – certainly appealing to the inherent laziness of humans. It’s a convenience that’s hard to deny, but it also has the potential to make good health care more affordable in a divided system of haves and have-nots.
Trade-offs can occur in exchange for increased convenience and access. “If we do, we want to do it right,” he says, Wachter. “We have to think about all possible negative consequences to prevent that from happening.”