Speaking at the Forbes Healthcare conference this week, Doerr said Amazon is among the best-positioned companies to take information its learned from customers and use it to their benefit. He’s expecting CEO Jeff Bezos to roll out an offering for medical and health products that resembles Amazon Prime, which has over 100 million users.
He also wouldn’t rule out Microsoft as an enterprise-focused health player, given the software giant’s efforts to get doctors using cloud technology.
Doerr is ultimately hoping that entrepreneurs and tech companies will start to build on top of traditional electronic medical records companies, like Epic and Cerner, rather than replace them altogether.
“This is a theme of mine,” he said.
TV ads historically were bought and sold over martini lunches on Madison Avenue in New York, and advertisers made their decision based on personal connections. Google’s Ad Words replaced that method by introducing ways to target users and measure and track performance in real time.
“It propelled Google and the online industry to where today, where it’s bigger than online television advertising,” Doerr said.
He cited U.S. online advertising as a $75 billion industry, while health-care spending is $3.5 trillion, or “50 times bigger,” he said.
To tap into health care, technology companies have to get access to data, which remains locked up and stored in formats that computers can’t access or can’t read. Big tech is aggressively working to address that problem.Amazon just released a service to help mine medical records, Alphabet is working with big hospitals to analyze health data to predict serious illness and Apple is looking to bring patient health information to the iPhone.
“My dream is to bring the efficiency of the ad words market to value-based care, to the health care markets,” Doerr said. “It’ll be harder because the data is literally incarcerated.”