Amazon Enters Health Wearables Market

September 11, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Electronic Health Records | Home Health | Medical Devices and Wearables | Private Insurers | Telehealth

Amazon recently introduced the Halo fitness tracker, its first entry into the health wearables market currently dominated by Fitbit and the Apple Watch. Amazon’s previous efforts to move into the healthcare industry have included the acquisition of online pharmacy PillPack in 2018, the mysterious Haven initiative with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, and various other amorphous joint ventures and pilot programs with other major companies and institutions.

The Halo wristband measures activity using an accelerometer, tracks sleep, and includes a temperature sensor and heart rate monitor. The Halo app uses a suite of algorithms that work with a smartphone camera to measure the user’s body fat percentage.

The Halo integrates with Cerner Corporation’s technology to allow measurements to be imported directly into the user’s electronic health record. In a Cerner press release, an executive said, “The health care industry is undergoing a digital revolution, where physicians are increasingly looking to leverage patient-generated health data to help keep them healthier and out of the doctor’s office. Our work with Amazon Halo highlights the importance of using artificial intelligence and other leading-edge technologies to accelerate health care innovation and improve health outcomes.”

Halo devices will also be distributed by the life insurance provider John Hancock through its Vitality digital wellness program.

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