Tech giants like Google, Amazon struggle to upend healthcare

Big tech companies have a lot of potential to change the messy healthcare industry, and they’re trying. 

Whether it’s funding startups, building wearables, or powering research on the cloud, giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are already making their mark. And the coronavirus pandemic has made digital tools more important than ever before.

But this group of companies, for all its cash and resources, has seen a lot of mishaps and failures while establishing meaningful businesses in the industry they’d like to disrupt.

Most recently, Haven, a joint health venture between Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway, disbanded after just three years of largely aimless projects. Alphabet’s Verily has been known to butt heads with Google Health. Amazon’s primary care business is being pressured internally to scale nationally in 2021. 

Insider spoke to more than a dozen tech employees, healthcare executives, analysts, and investors to find out why these otherwise well-oiled machines can come up short in this particular industry. They pointed to common, internal problems in the way big tech sets up and funds healthcare bets.

For one, the healthcare teams have to maintain corporate goodwill even while their projects can bring scrutiny to the mothership. 

All the while they’re racing the clock to prove they can generate revenue and coordinate resources across a company that’s not primarily designed to solve healthcare problems.

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