Amazon is expanding its reach in the healthcare supply market, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Hospital executives told the newspaper that Amazon has been working to expand its healthcare offerings on Amazon Business, the company’s business supply division. It already offers limited medical supplies but is expanding to provide specialized supplies for hospitals and outpatient clinics and has started a pilot program with a large, unnamed hospital system in the Midwest to grow those services, the report says.
Amazon Business executive Chris Holt, who leads the division’s global healthcare efforts, told the Journal: “Our goal is to be something new,” noting that the company has “been actively building out new capabilities and features,” to simplify purchasing.
The Journal story didn’t include an explicit confirmation from Amazon about its plans. The company declined to comment on the report when contacted by GeekWire.
The move is just the latest step into healthcare for the tech giant. Last month, Amazon announced that it will team up with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to establish an independent healthcare company, aiming to lower costs and create better health outcomes for the companies’ employees.
For months, there have also been other signs the company is looking to take advantage of the healthcare market. It has been quietly hiring top-notch healthcare executives and doctors and working on secretive healthcare projects in a variety of divisions, potentially including an Alexa voice assistant health service.
Amazon Business already offers a limited amount of medical supplies as well as office and other supplies, but does not offer many of the specialized supplies that hospitals use. On its website, Amazon offers specific information for three industries: Education, government and healthcare. “Amazon Business is improving the way healthcare organizations source and purchase products. We’re making supply chains more efficient, simplifying contract administration and bringing comparison shopping to healthcare,” the website says.