The Amazon Effect   /   March 20, 2019

Amazon-exclusive medical brand Choice expands services with One Drop partnership

By Suman Bhattacharyya

Amazon’s exclusive¬†medical product line, Choice, is tying up with diabetes and blood pressure management app-based platform One Drop.

The move extends Amazon’s reach into home-based wellness services and lets customers who use Amazon Choice blood glucose and blood pressure monitors connect to One Drop’s digital health monitoring tools.

One Drop populates health data automatically through paired devices. It benchmarks customers’ health data alongside what it knows about similar types of customers, and delivers predictive insights, said Rachel Sanchez, vp of marketing at One Drop. Through the relationships with Amazon Choice products, Amazon customers can access One Drop’s predictive analytics and maintenance features.

Amazon declined to comment for this story, but the expansion of home-based health and wellness services through Choice is the latest step among Amazon’s moves to get into home-based health and wellness services through exclusive brands. Choice is an Amazon-exclusive medical products brand that was rolled out late last year. The devices are manufactured by medical device company Arcadia, which has previously worked with Walmart on similar products. In 2017, Amazon launched an exclusive over-the-counter medication brand Basic Care, which is owned and manufactured by pharmaceutical company Perrigo.

“Amazon has built-in infrastructure with its reach of consumers and the ability to reach them hyper-efficiently — that’s the obvious benefit,” said eMarketer retail and e-commerce analyst Andrew Lipsman. “With a front-end experience delivered to the home, there are a lot of forces that make Amazon’s entry a natural strategy for them, and I’m seeing a rationale as to why these startups want to plug into Amazon.”

While One Drop’s maintenance tools are based on customer health data, there won’t be any data sharing with Amazon, the company said. One Drop also integrates with Apple HealthKit, Google Fit and FitBit; its objective is to reach customers on the tools they’re already using. For Amazon, however, the play is much broader.

“Health and wellness is an enormous business — part of [Amazon’s] strategy is to embed itself in the lives of consumers, with consumer products and digital services, and now it’s trying to do that with medical devices,” said¬†Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.

For now, Amazon’s exclusive health product lines like Choice are showing some results. Amazon’s alternative to Perrigo’s own Good Sense brand, for example, had as of the third-quarter of 2018, surpassed Perrigo’s market share on Amazon.com, according to One Click Retail.

Devices and over the counter products are an easy entry point into the healthcare sphere, but the company could face bigger hurdles due to complexities of insurance arrangements and regulatory challenges, said Saunders. But Amazon’s customer-first mindset still makes it a formidable force.

“The market is very ripe for disruption because consumers and politicians are not satisfied [with healthcare], and it doesn’t work very well,” he said. “If Amazon can crack it, it’s a massive opportunity.”

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