Amazon launches virtual health service with Amazon Clinic
Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Clinic, a virtual healthcare service that will deliver care for 20 common conditions, including hair loss, heartburn, acne, dandruff and seasonal allergies.
The virtual consultation service will allow customers to select their condition from a list provided, then choose a preferred provider from a list of third-party licensed clinicians, including ones from SteadyMD and HealthTap.
After completing a short intake questionnaire, customers and third-party clinicians directly connect via a message-based portal within hours of the initial request. The Amazon Clinic site says no video visit or live chat is required.
A personalized treatment plan is delivered via the same portal, including prescriptions. Customers can fill their medication at their preferred pharmacy or Amazon Pharmacy.
The clinic will operate in 32 states in the U.S. Costs of the consultations will vary, though patients will be provided up-front pricing. Customers can follow up with the provider for up to two weeks after the initial evaluation.
THE LARGER TREND
Amazon Clinic marks the latest push by the retail giant to influence the healthcare sector, but the tech giant has seen its share of challenges in attempting to make its mark in the space.
The Amazon Clinic announcement comes just three months after the release of an email from Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, stating the virtual care clinic for Amazon employees, Amazon Care, would shut down on December 31.
Amazon Care, launched in 2019, was initially only available to Amazon employees. However, the service later expanded to outside employers and in 2022 added in-person care options in more than 20 cities, including New York, Miami, San Francisco and Chicago.
The closure only affects Amazon Care and its Care Medical group of providers, not the company’s other healthcare projects.
The Amazon Care shutdown isn’t the tech giant’s first failure in its attempt to make an indent in the healthcare space.
Haven, a joint venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, sought to devise a new model for employee health coverage by leveraging each company’s strengths.
The employer-focused joint venture launched only a few projects and was dogged by personnel departures before the partners called it quits after a nearly three-year run.
In July, the tech giant announced plans to acquire hybrid primary care provider One Medical in an approximately $3.9 billion all-cash deal, though this deal has yet to close.
The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the acquisition of One Medical. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, One Medical parent 1Life Healthcare and Amazon both received requests from the FTC for more information regarding the deal on September 2.