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Tech & retail giants in healthcare (Q2 2023): CVS hits pause on M&A; Big Techs enabling generative AI

Big Tech and retail giants have made remarkable strides in the healthcare space, consolidating their presence through in-house offerings, major acquisitions, and a number of partnerships and investments. 2022 saw significant shake-ups and intense bidding wars for billion-dollar companies, with both Amazon and CVS Health competing with each other for some of the most notable deals in the space. The latter’s aggressive growth strategy also extended to the first quarter of 2023, with its acquisition of Oak Street Health for USD 10.6 billion.
However, Q2 2023 saw a shift in pace, with the absence of M&A activity and companies such as CVS Health publicly reporting a pause in dealmaking in an effort to fully absorb and consolidate the significant moves of their recent past. Furthermore, there was a deceleration in investment, possibly due to companies beginning to exercise more caution over cash outflows in response to prevailing economic challenges. 
Consistent with past trends, primary care remained the most dominant area for Big Tech and retail players, accounting for a little more than 70% of all tracked activity. Partnerships continued to be a key focus during the quarter, with Big Tech accounting for two-thirds of all partnerships tracked. With generative AI taking the world by storm, it comes as no surprise that this was a common theme across some of the key partnerships by Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft as they work with various healthcare organizations to incorporate generative AI into various healthcare and pharmaceutical workflows.
Activities refer to initiatives by the above companies across industries under SPEEDA Edge’s Health & Wellness and Pharma & Life Sciences verticals
Source: Compiled by SPEEDA Edge

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