Wait! What? Amazon and Apple eye building EHRs

Just weeks after rumors hinted that Apple is working on a way to bring health records together on iPhones, Amazon appears to have launched an investigation about building EHR software.
By Bernie Monegain
04:38 PM
Amazon getting into healthcare

Amazon has started a secret lab at its Seattle headquarters to explore business prospects in the healthcare sector, including EHRs and telemedicine, according CNBC. That report comes on the heels of swirling rumors that Apple is in talks with hospitals and other healthcare organizations to explore the possibility of bringing health records together on the iPhone. 

It’s important to note that press reports thus far are based on unnamed sources and industry analysts speculate that even for the likes of Amazon and Apple stealing customers away from Epic, Cerner and Allscripts would likely be a difficult and lengthy process. 

Amazon is reportedly considering developing an EHR platform as well as telemedicine and health apps for existing devices, such as its Echo. 

[Also: Timeline: How Apple is piecing together its secret healthcare plan]

Amazon has dubbed the covert team “1492,” the year Columbus first landed in the Americas, and it is hiring for positions that are searchable on Amazon using the keyword “a1.492.” The crew is also working on healthcare applications for Amazon devices, such as Echo and Dash Wand.

Apple, for its part, already has a big toe in the healthcare market with its HealthKit and ResearchKit apps, Apple Watch, and work with Health Gorilla to add diagnostic data to the iPhone, including measures such as blood work, by integrating with hospitals, lab test companies and imaging centers. 

The Cupertino, California giant has also recently hired people with top healthcare credentials who are savvy in the digital realm.
In seemingly unconnected news, President Trump today announced Apple CEO Tim Cook had promised to build three big manufacturing plants in the U.S. Cook has been mum on the announcement.

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Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com

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