Health Care Is the Next Battleground for Big Tech
Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon are all getting involved in your health care. Here’s why.
As U.S. presidential hopefuls put forth policy proposals to fix America’s health care system, tech giants like Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook are trying to create their own solutions. The situation is so bad that some think Big Tech’s intervention might be welcome.
“Everyone hates the health care system,” says John Wilbanks, chief commons officer at Sage Bionetworks, a Seattle-based nonprofit that promotes open science and patient engagement in research. “It’s so bad that the vast majority of interventions will make it better from an experience perspective,” he says. “It might not be more effective, but the experience will be better.”
Health care is a $3.6 trillion industry — too lucrative for tech companies to ignore. “Apple makes devices, Amazon sells stuff at margins that can crush national chains, and Google makes predictions. There is money in all these areas,” Wilbanks says.
Silicon Valley has plenty to gain from wading into health care, but whether consumers will benefit remains to be seen. Here’s a rundown of Big Tech’s plans for health care and what they mean for your health.
Google maintains that it won’t sell users’ personal information to anyone. “Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads,” Osterloh said. “And we will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their…