Report: Amazon and startup Xealth working on program to deliver medical supplies to patients


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Amazon and Seattle startup Xealth are working on a pilot program that will let doctors ‘prescribe’ items for delivery to patients’ homes, CNBC reports.

The report comes just weeks after Amazon announced it will acquire pharmaceutical delivery service PillPack, the most aggressive move yet from the company as it marches towards the healthcare field.

When reached by GeekWire, Xealth CEO Mike McSherry declined to comment on the report. GeekWire has reached out to Amazon for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

The program reportedly involves healthcare systems Providence St. Joseph Health and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, both of which are Xealth customers. Both companies have a presence on Xealth’s board of directors, and both Providence representative Aaron Martin and UPMC representative Mark Stabingas are former Amazon executives.

The program will reportedly let doctors ‘prescribe’ bundles of medical items that will then be delivered directly to patients. After a patient leaves the hospital, say after a knee surgery, a doctor could ‘prescribe’ items like a brace and over-the-counter medications. The patient could then order the items for delivery by Amazon through an online patient portal.

New parents and patients with chronic illness would be ideal customers for a service like this because they have a frequent and often urgent need for new supplies.

For the moment, the program does not include prescription medication. Delivering prescriptions requires a more complicated and secure system, although it would be a natural extension of the program, particularly after Amazon’s PillPack acquisition.

The program is also a natural fit for Xealth, whose technology platform lets doctors prescribe digital treatments like educational materials, instructions for physical therapy exercises and even rideshares like Uber or Lyft to get to and from appointments. The platform integrates a number of third-party systems into an easy-to-access portal for healthcare providers.

Xealth spun out of Providence St. Joseph Health’s startup incubator last year and has raised $8.5 million from investors including DFJ.

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Source:: GeekWire

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