One Medical users pledge to cancel memberships over $3.9 billion Amazon deal
Subscribers to the healthcare app One Medical vowed Friday to cancel their memberships after it was announced that the startup dubbed “the Netflix of primary care” would be bought by Amazon for $3.9 billion.
Angry One Medical subscribers said they would be shutting down the service over concerns the Seattle-based e-commerce giant would get their hands on their private data.
“I need an explanation and an explicit contract about what data Amazon can or cannot access from One Medical,” Teri Hoffman tweeted.
“This feels like a big issue from a privacy point of view. Love One Medical, but I’m probably out…”
One Twitter user with the handle @dantelives13 tweeted, “Time to cancel my only medical membership.”
Zach Cole tweeted: “Nooooo!!!! Now I have to cancel One Medical. Reviews for other non-Amazon alternatives?”
One Medical is a San Francisco-based startup that provides 24/7 telehealth services and same-day and next-day doctor appointments. Getty Images
Another Twitter user wrote: “Amazon is acquiring One Medical and now I have to cancel my s–t.”
A Twitter user posted a screenshot of them canceling their One Medical membership.
The multi-billion dollar acquisition also didn’t sit well with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a frequent critic of multinational corporations and a proponent of universal health care.
The function of a rational healthcare system is to provide quality healthcare to everyone in a cost-effective manner, not to make billionaires like Jeff Bezos even richer. At a time of increasing concentration of ownership, the Justice Department must deny Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical. https://t.co/ekpJdTbf2N
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 21, 2022
The former presidential candidate urged the Biden administration to intervene and block the deal.
“The function of a rational health care system is to provide quality care to everyone in a cost-effective way, not to make billionaires like Jeff Bezos even richer,” Sanders tweeted.
“At a time of increasing concentration of ownership, the Justice Department must deny Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical.”
Amazon collects consumer data through its Alexa voice assistant, its e-commerce marketplace, Kindle e-readers, Audible audiobooks, its video and music platforms, home security cameras and fitness trackers, according to Reuters.
News of the acquisition prompted One Medical subscribers to cancel their membership. Twitter Amazon’s collection of personal user data sparked skepticism about the acquisition. Twitter Amazon has denied it plans to use One Medical subscriber data. Twitter Twitter- user Zach Cole asked others for “non-Amazon alternatives.” Twitter
Alexa-enabled devices record inside people’s homes and Ring security cameras capture every visitor.
But an Amazon spokesperson told The Post there was no risk to One Medical subscribers’ user data as a result of the announced merger.
“As required by law, Amazon will never share personal health information of One Medical customers outside of One Medical for advertising or marketing purposes of other Amazon products and services without clear customer consent,” the spokesperson said.
Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical expands its footprint in the healthcare market.Getty Images
“If the deal closes, One Medical customers’ HIPAA Protected Health Information will be treated separately from all other Amazon companies, as required by law.”
But experts say Amazon will have a hard time convincing skeptics.
“People don’t want their personal medical information to be ripped off by big technology and they suddenly find that Alexa is selling them in ways to cure deeply personal ailments, or worse, third parties have their anonymized data and are tracking it through internet targeting,” Eric Schiffer, the CEO of private equity firm The Patriarch Organization, told The Post.
“Healthcare privacy is critical for consumers, and big tech entering healthcare is scaring people that it could take off.”
Schiffer added, “The reality is that Amazon would absolutely abide by HIPA requirements, but that doesn’t mean consumers will believe it.”
One Medical is a San Francisco-based startup that offers a subscription app that gives patients access to 24/7 on-demand telehealth services, as well as same-day or next-day appointments with doctors.
The company oversees 188 medical offices in 25 cities. It has a subscription base of 767,000 customers.
The Post has reached out to One Medical seeking comment.