Seattle, WA— In recent weeks, Amazon and Arcadia Group announced the launch of a series of consumer-grade medical devices under their new brand Choice. According to press release, the former will be the exclusive distributor of the line, and the latter is responsible for the development and launch of the products.
Much like Amazon’s own AmazonBasics brand, Choice will have a strong focus on value and convenience. In the press release, Bob Guest, Arcadia Group’s CEO, shared,
“The Choice brand is all about accessible wellness. Consumers no longer need to drive to a store to stand in-line and purchase their medical devices and supplies. Now, in the privacy of their home, consumers can review, compare and purchase the products of their choice. No insurance is required. Therefore, customers have the freedom of choice. They will no longer be told by their insurance company what brand they can buy. Choice is freedom.”
The line includes both low-cost conventional devices and more advanced Bluetooth-enabled versions that work with external apps and Apple Health. Upon the writing of this article, Choice’s pricing was well below traditional branded competitors and competitive with Walmart’s own low-price ReliOn brand of diabetes products.
Why This Matters—
The launch line of products is focused squarely on two of the greatest chronic disease burdens in the developed world: diabetes and hypertension. In the US alone, these diseases impact an estimated 130 million (that’s right at 40% of Americans). On its own, that fact seems to make financial sense for the launch of Choice, but their long play is where the move gets really interesting. While Alexa voice integration isn’t available just yet, that’s the plan. According to the press release, Bob Guest claimed:
“Over time we intend to incorporate voice driven measurement interpretation as well as individualize wellness recommendations. This is all possible with Alexa, and will provide patients with a wellness experience not available until now.”
With more than 50 million Alexa-enabled devices out there as of mid-2018 and more than 30,000 Alexa Skills, the opportunity to leverage voice tech to support people living with chronic disease is finally a reality. And considering the fact that a recent survey suggests around half of US consumers would be willing to share various types of personal health information with Amazon to receive better healthcare, this is yet more proof that voice tech in healthcare is reaching a tipping point as technology, tools and patient openness converge.