It’s official! Amazon Pharmacy has launched, and it is already available in places like Nebraska! Amazon makes it easy, and filling your prescriptions will be more seamless than ever as they continue to use their insights, resources and business philosophies to serve consumers in ways we don’t even know we want – yet.
I began talking and writing about the evolution of healthcare several years ago. My obsession with how Amazon does business, while shaping the future, has been the subject of many keynotes and publications.
It was an honor to talk about the future of healthcare at the annual meeting of the Western Healthcare Alliance (WHA) in a 2019, which included both a keynote and post-keynote coaching circles. The final part of this conference engagement included executive coaching sessions and interviews with 20 leaders. We talked a lot about the changes happening in healthcare at that time. I learned a lot from those leaders, and they were already challenged by the changes and growing number of competitors.
The signs indicating that Amazon was building its capacity to disrupt healthcare have been evident for quite sometime. One of the slides from my WHA keynote demonstrated some of the moves Amazon was making to achieve their goals in this space, and the acquisition of Whole Foods and PillPack were two of those strategic investments. Both of those moves were in addition to the already established mammoth market share of Prime memberships (pre-COVID) as well as the smart speaker market.
Jeff Bezos is the ultimate think like a futurist and act like an entrepreneur leader. I would love the opportunity to tap into his business mind because he was shaping the future from the very beginning. It may be a challenge to get him to sit down for an interview because estimates have him making more than $220,000 per minute.
Companies can learn a lot from the four principles Amazon has lived – and grown by – since day one, and I have used their principles to help other leaders think about ways they can lead like a Futurist while acting like an entrepreneur:
The connected world is not going away any time soon, and the implications with the growing longevity economy are staggering! As you can all imagine, my keynotes and workshops have been delivered as webinars for the past few months, and one of the areas I am really diving into is the longevity economy. According to the AARP, the longevity economy is expected to balloon to over $28.2 trillion by 2050. My Futurist mind can’t wrap its head around how many more prescriptions will be filled in that time – in the U.S. alone!
What about the Costs to Humanity and the Environment?
While Amazon is doing great, the actual Amazon is not. Workers’ rights and climate change continue to be a major concern. CNBC stated that Amazon delivered 425 million packages between April and June of 2020. And, that is just Amazon. How many packages, boxes and envelopes are delivered around the world each day? Each delivery requires the use of natural resources, fossil fuels and people.
The AP conducted a comprehensive study of the palm oil industry, and not surprisingly – rape, abuse, healthcare challenges and lack of financial security are rampant. Agricultural workers, especially women, have been exploited for a long, long time. I first learned about these abuses while studying natural resources and entomology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels – and that was in the 1990’s. The pesticide poisoning and abuse inflicted on agricultural workers in rural areas is very real. This type of abuse is part of the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics supply chain many of us take for granted every day. The people who grow, harvest and make the products and pharmaceuticals shipped and used around the world are suffering – and so are their families. The women who work in these situations have no choice, no voice and no hope. We must do more for the rights of workers – especially women – who are exploited and attacked while trying to make a living. True prosperity does not exist if wealth and power for a few come at the expense of so many.
A New Economy: Prosperity for All
We can and must to better – I am not sure what it all looks like or exactly how we get there; however, there has to be an economic system that moves towards a more purposeful and prosperous future for all.
What do you think? How can we create a new economic system that benefits more people as well as the planet?
I would love to hear your thoughts…