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Vertical integration in motion

By Jeff Arnold, Chairman and CEO

February 2, 2018

No doubt you’ve heard by now that Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway announced the ultimate in vertical integration: they are teaming up to create a new company with a stated mission to provide high quality health care at a lower cost, starting with their own employees in the U.S.

The aspirational goal of vertical integration has been widely discussed for the last decade – in fact, the promise of it was one of the driving reasons we created Sharecare nearly eight years ago. Even then, we recognized the untapped potential of using the latest digital and social technologies to empower consumers to connect with healthcare stakeholders, and knew the concept of putting all your health in one place could transform the landscape.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago when Jonah Comstock at MobiHealthNews asked me about my predictions for digital health in 2018: the area I was most bullish on was vertical integration, in part because consumerism practically demands it, but also because it creates a world wherein you can optimize the entire value chain. So, when disruptors like Amazon — with its demonstrated ability to accelerate vertical integration, not to mention create optimal user experiences — enter the game, we are on the precipice of transformational change in our industry that ultimately will benefit all of us, especially as consumers of our own healthcare.

This recent announcement highlights that the future is finally here… that our technology has caught up with our dreams. At Sharecare, we feel fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, and are poised to play our part in the radical and rapid improvement that’s coming to healthcare, for all.