Amazon gets into health insurance, and more 2019 health-tech predictions from top experts - (CNBC via NewsPoints Desk)

  • CNBC reported Thursday 2019 predictions from a dozen experts from across the healthcare industry.

  • Citing Apple's recent launch of the electrocardiogram feature on Apple Watch, David Albert, co-founder of AliveCor, said it "will start a serious health feature arms race for all the makers of wearables."

  • Walter De Brouwer, CEO of health software start-up Doc.Ai, noted that major innovation in 2019 will impact millions of people, suggesting that a company may work out a way to track blood pressure, or a proxy for it, without a cuff, and that while many companies have failed to get a product like this to market, "now is the ideal time."

  • Meanwhile, Sachin H. Jain, CEO of CareMore Health, said 2019 will be a big year for partnerships between technology companies and MA plans, noting that "tech has gotten more sophisticated with wearables and the proliferation of new devices, as well as the enhanced sophistication of cell phones. We can do a lot to remotely monitor people now."

  • Stephen Buck, co-founder of Courage Health, suggested that "2019 could be the year that Amazon adds a few more big pieces to reveal much larger ambitions in healthcare by becoming an insurer, pharmacy benefits manager, or both."

  • Additionally, Daphne Zohar, CEO of PureTech Health, said that pharmaceutical companies will be on the hunt for innovators to add to their portfolio, whether it is biotech upstarts, artificial intelligence start-ups or digital health companies.

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