Amazon.com Inc.’s $3.9 billion deal to acquire the direct primary-care company One Medical marks the tech giant’s biggest move into the healthcare space, but is sparking concerns about data privacy. On Thursday Amazon
announced an agreement to acquire One Medical, which operates under 1Life Healthcare Inc.
for $18 a share, or $3.9 billion including debt. Amazon wants to reinvent healthcare. In a statement, the company cited the process involved booking medical appointments, “waiting weeks or even months to be seen,” and trips to the pharmacy as areas that could be improved. “We see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days,” said Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services. “We love inventing to make what should be easy easier and we want to be one of the companies that helps dramatically improve the healthcare experience over the next several years.”
But what about data privacy? As Amazon extends its tentacles further into the healthcare sector, many people have taken to Twitter to express their concerns about the One Medical deal. “Amazon’s latest bundle offering: Prime TV subscriptions + Smart home devices + groceries …. + Your healthcare provider. What could go wrong?” tweeted Krista Brown, senior policy analyst at the American Economic Liberties Project on Thursday. The American Economic Liberties Project, in a statement, urged regulators to block what it described as Amazon’s “dangerous” acquisition of One Medical. “Allowing Amazon to control the health care data for another 700,000+ individuals is terrifying,” Brown said in the statement, also pointing to the deal’s impact on other healthcare companies. “Acquiring One Medical will entrench Amazon’s growing presence in the healthcare industry, undermining competition,” she added. See Now: How Amazon’s $3.9 billion wager on primary care could change your Prime membership The project’s data privacy fears were echoed by attorney Elizabeth Shubov, an emerging technology advisor at the consulting firm Cantellus Group. “Amazon will now have access to data on what we watch, read, eat, buy, ask Alexa, pharmaceuticals, and …