During last week’s Health Innovation Summit, former Google X director Dr. Babak Parviz credited with inventing Google Glass and the glucose level-detecting smart contact lens was coy about what Amazon is building even after several people asked him to comment. It was, however, clear that the online retail giant is looking into this space for further expansion.
Parviz moved from Google to Amazon in July to fill an unnamed position. Considering his background, we may see him helping Amazon enter yet another market.
For what it matters, Google and Apple also had talks with the FDA in the past.Adding oil to the fire was a recent report saying that the company has held at least one conversation with the FDA. According to the agency’s meetings calendar, on July 22 “Amazon leadership” met with the deputy commissioner for global regulatory operations and policy Howard Sklamberg and some other FDA employees.
It’s unclear what the two parties talked about, though. As far as we (don’t) know, Amazon may’ve just asked for permission to sell prescription drugs online. They could also be working on a wearable device, health data aggregation service like Apple’s HealthKit, or something completely different. For what it matters, Google and Apple also had talks with the FDA in the past.
In any case, we are glad to see Amazon exploring the healthcare space. They definitely have the engineering power to create something compelling; and with their massive customer base of more than 200 million users worldwide, they also have the scale to launch a product many will use.
We’ll be on the lookout for additional hints from this space and get back to you as soon as we have something new to add. Stay tuned…