Amazon is secretly working on a program to treat the common cold, according to three people familiar with the matter. The project, called Project Gesundheit, has been in progress for several years. More than 100 staff members of Amazon’s mystic project group Grand Challenge are said to be working on a cure for the common cold.
The team hopes to develop a vaccine, but is also exploring ways to solve the cold problem. Within Amazon, it is sometimes referred to as a “vaccine project”.
The Grand Challenge project group, part of Amazon’s AWS, is reported lying on cancer research, medical technology and the last mile of transportation, led by the founders of Google Glass.
An Amazon spokesman declined to comment.
Amazon is running a variety of health projects in-house, and a team called Amazon Care is developing virtual medical clinics for its employees and providing nurse-to-home services. PillPack, the online pharmacy Amazon acquired in 2018, has a pharmacy team. In addition, Voice Assistant Alexa has a team dedicated to health and wellness purposes.
A 2003 study by the University of Michigan found that colds cost the U.S. economy about $40 billion a year, a figure that could be even higher today.