This is the lil tech news you need to know for the week commencing March 22, 2021.
Amazon is expanding its on-demand healthcare services, Amazon Care, which has tested with its own employees since September 2019.
The expansion means that U.S. employers will soon be able to sign up for Amazon Care as a benefit to their employees.
Amazon Care offers Telehealth services which it says can connect patients to a physician–often within 60 seconds–any time day or night, to provide a range of primary care and urgent care services. They can even offer overnight delivery of prescription medications and scheduled in-home follow ups with local medical professionals for things like blood draws, vaccine administration, and physical examinations.
Our Take: Amazon’s gonna Amazon, and the list of things they don’t do gets shorter by the day.
We think that competition creates better outcomes for end users, and the healthcare space is one which desperately needs improved outcomes for more people. We hope that a company like Amazon has the resources and pull to do some good in this regard, and even profitably so.
It’s encouraging to see many companies–including Camber clients Benefitfocus, AdventHealth, EnterMedicare, and Axle Health–focused on generating better healthcare outcomes for a greater number of people.
With regard to Amazon… we can’t help but reimagine the movie Idiocracy with Amazon in place of Costco as the company that has become so big that it’s practically the one and only institution of any kind left in the world. As in the movie, you won’t just shop at Amazon, maybe you’ll be born there, you’ll get your education there, and you’ll get your healthcare there too.
Microsoft is reportedly in talks to acquire text and video messaging platform Discord in a deal worth more than $10 billion.
If such a deal went through, it would be the second highest valued acquisition Microsoft has ever made. It’s largest deal ever was in 2016 when it acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The second and third largest deals to date were, respectively, $8.5 billion for Skypein 2011 and $7.5 billion for GitHub in 2018.
Our Take: Discord is a vibrant platform with more than 140 million monthly active users. It has managed to become an incredibly compelling platform for building and organically growing communities around shared interests of any kind.
We think Discord would probably only be worth it for Microsoft if they intended to mostly leave it alone and let it continue to feel like an independent company–as they have with some of their other high-profile acquisitions.
It would certainly be a boon for Microsoft to have another brand association which connects with a younger-skewing consumer audience.
Work chat app Slack announced it would open up direct messaging between any and all Slack users, regardless of what company workspaces they belong to.
The new feature allows anyone with your email address to send you a DM invitation inside of Slack. The feature initially rolled out with the ability for the sender to also include a custom message along with the DM invitation.
This functionality was urgently removed on launch day after concerns that strangers could put harassing content in your DM inbox before you ever chose to accept or reject their invitation to DM you.
Our Take: Slack, at least for us, feels like an impenetrable sanctuary where you at least know that the content you’re going to see there is from people (and apps) who have a legitimate connection to your work.
Knowing someone’s email address is not a very high bar to land a DM invitation in their Slack inbox, and we’re hoping our Slack DM request inbox doesn’t end up looking like our email or LinkedIn inboxes. To that end, our own Slack workspace has already disabled this feature altogether. Props to Slack for giving us that choice.
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