Big Tech will play an important role in the future market environment of every single medical technology companies - if we like it or not.

Illustration: Mary Delaney
Illustration: Mary Delaney

Hardly a week goes by without news of Big Tech companies making moves into the healthcare industry. A few days ago, I read that Amazon won the Hilton hotel chain as a customer for its primary care service. Hilton is the largest client yet, which means it’s likely to boost Amazon’s chances of securing more big-name customers.

Just as the news didn't show up in the top stories of this newsletter, it also got limited attention in our industry. And that's what I find remarkable. From my point of view, we see the typical pattern of disruption here, which never comes out of nowhere but instead happens gradually, before the very eyes of the disrupted.

"Gradually, then suddenly." That was the answer from a character in Hemingway's novel The Sun Also Rises in response to how he went broke. Nowadays, it is used by many prominent tech analysts such as Tim O'Reilly or Anand Sanwal because it so perfectly describes disruption processes. 

I firmly believe that Big Tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple will play an important role in the future market environment of all medical technology companies. Even though the individual news about Big Tech in healthcare may sound insignificant today, the sum of the moves will be significant. 

To avoid becoming the next Nokia or Kodak, we incumbents should start thinking about how to respond right away.

Hadi Saleh

Hadi’s Reflections

Dr. Hadi Saleh is CEO of CeramTec, a leading provider of advanced ceramics for medical applications. He is driven by the idea of embracing technology for the benefit of human life.


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