Is Amazon poised to join the fray of large technology companies jumping into the healthcare space?

Amazon representatives met with Howard Sklamberg, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner for global regulatory operations and policy, late last month, according to a report by VentureBeat. That, in addition to the July hiring of Babak Parviz, an ex-Google employee who renowned for developing Google Glass and the company’s smart contact lens, point to a potential move for Amazon, the article predicts.

Both Google and Apple this summer announced the launch of separate but similar online health platforms, the former despite company founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page stating publicly that healthcare is a “painful” business due to heavy regulation. Google Fit will aggregate data from fitness-tracking devices and health-related apps, and earlier this month, debuted a preview SDK for the platform.

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Sign up for our FREE newsletter for more news like this sent to your inbox!Apple’s HealthKit, meanwhile, announced in June, is a virtual service framework fostering data sharing between patients and medical professionals, third-party devices and medical institutions. Apple already has a partnership with the Mayo Clinic lined up, and also has spoken with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Both companies also have met with the FDA, with Apple officials telling the agency that the IT industry may have a “moral obligation” to “do more” with health sensors and other similar devices.

Brad Thompson, a health attorney with Epstein Becker Green, tells VentureBeatthat Sklamberg is “one of the most high-ranking officials at the FDA on the policy side,” adding that from his purview, Amazon might be looking to “stitch together existing wearables into some sort of system.”

Thompson also speculates that Amazon could be considering a health platform of its own that involves the company’s new phone.

Interestingly in April, PwC’s Health Research Institute published a report entitled “Healthcare’s New Entrants: Who will be the industry’s Amazon.com?”

“Within a decade, the health and wellness business will look and feel like other consumer-oriented, technology-enabled industries–retail, banking, publishing and music,” Vaughn Kauffman, principal at PwC Health Industries, said upon the release of the report. “Soon, healthcare will have its own Amazon.com-style, iconic, new economy brands.”

Amazon’s cloud infrastructure is able to support HIPAA compliant developmentof applications.

To learn more:
– here’s the VentureBeat article

Related Articles:
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Google taps Novartis to drive smart contact lens forward
Google co-founders Brin and Page: Tech giant will not become healthcare company
Google plans to rival Apple’s HealthKit
Google debuts SDK preview for developers of Fit platform
Apple HealthKit viewed as a major market changer
Apple discusses HealthKit with hospitals, Allscripts
Apple to FDA: There’s a ‘moral obligation’ to do more with health sensors
Savvy new players expected to shake up healthcare
Google cloud platform to be HIPAA compliant, support BAAs


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