The latest milestone in Amazon’s march toward world domination of consumerism has taken a turn into the medical device arena, specifically blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitors. Arcadia Group, which describes itself as a “brand consultancy,” has teamed up with the digital retail titan to develop own-brand diabetes-management and blood-pressure-monitoring devices. They will be sold under the Choice name.
Although this initiative dovetails nicely with Amazon’s rising interest in health and wellness, it was Arcadia that initiated the project, according to CNBC. “I approached Amazon last year as they began to expand their healthcare footprint,” Arcadia CEO and founder 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.”
Guest has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare field and has been involved in an array of over-the-counter brands, notably helping TheraSense launch its FreeStyle blood glucose meter. Arcadia developed the brand mark, corporate identity and product positioning, and then successfully launched the product to the mass market, resulting in an eventual acquisition by Abbott for $1.2 billion, the company writes on its website. It also steered all brand and product development activities related to Walmart Pharmacy’s ReliOn brand.
Choice branded devices will include supporting mobile apps to allow users to store data and set reminders. Convenience will be a hallmark of the product line at all of the touch points, according to Guest. “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,” he said in a news release.
The global diabetes device market is growing at a 7% compound annual growth rate and is projected to be a $35.5 billion market by 2024, according to Grand View Research Inc.
Amazon has been making inroads into the broader healthcare space, which it is in a fairly unique position to disrupt. In January 2018, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase caused a stir with news of a new venture aimed at providing their U.S. employees with “simplified, high-quality, and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost,” reported Omar Ford in sister brand MD+DI. “And in March, Amazon hired Taha Kass-Hout, MD, a former FDA Chief Health Informatics Officer, to serve in a business development role focusing on healthcare projects,” noted Ford.