Amazon is about to make a big push to the consumer digital health market with a brand of its own. Developed in partnership with the health brand consultancy called Arcadia Group, the initiative will include a new brand of consumer-focused medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitors that will be available exclusively on the e-commerce giant's marketplace.
The move is said to be a part of Amazon's recent push to sell more exclusive brands on its website, as well as its increasing interest in health and wellness products and services. However, from what we are getting, it was Arcadia rather than Amazon who initiated this project.
"I approached Amazon last year as they began to expand their health-care footprint," Arcadia CEO Bob Guest told CNBC in a phone interview. "I felt that something that was missing from their offerings was products for people with diabetes and other chronic disease states."
Arcadia announced that the brand for Amazon is called Choice, and that it will at least initially target people with hypertension and diabetes. This is a huge market that includes about 30 million people in the U.S. alone.
An Amazon spokesperson explained CNBC that Choice is exclusive to Amazon "but is not an Amazon private-label brand," adding that the brand owner is in charge of the design and production.
Guest said that the next phase will include incorporating Choice devices with Amazon's Echo home speaker devices to help users manage their disease with Amazon's voice assistant Alexa.
Amazon has been steadily ramping up its healthcare-focused efforts. The company has a business team dedicated to selling medical supplies to physician practices and hospitals, a health team within Alexa, an internal health R&D team called Grand Challenges and a pharmacy group under PillPack, which it acquired in June. It is also working with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to rethink healthcare for its own workers.