Amazon launches virtual healthcare with Amazon Clinic

Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Clinic, a virtual health service that will provide care for 20 common conditions, including hair loss, heartburn, acne, dandruff and seasonal allergies.

The virtual consultation service allows customers to select their condition from a list provided and then select a preferred provider from a list of licensed third-party physicians, including SteadyMD and HealthTap.

After completing a short intake questionnaire, customers and third parties connect directly through a messaging-based website within hours of the initial request. The The Amazon Clinic site says no video visit or live chat is required.

A personalized treatment plan is delivered through the same portal, including prescriptions. Customers can fill their medications at the pharmacy of their choice or Amazon Pharmacy.

The clinic will operate in 32 US states. The cost of the consultation will vary, although an upfront price will be provided to patients. Customers can monitor the service provider for up to two weeks after the initial assessment.

THE BIGGER EVOLUTION

The Amazon Clinic marks the retail giant’s latest push to influence the healthcare industry, but the tech giant has seen its share of challenges trying to make its mark in the space.

Amazon Clinic’s announcement comes just three months after the release of an email from Neil Lindsay, senior president of Amazon Health Services, detailing virtual services 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 by 2022 added care options in more than 20 cities, including New York, Miami, San Francisco and Chicago.

The shutdown only affects Amazon Care and its Care Medical group of providers, not the company’s other healthcare initiatives.

The shutdown of Amazon Care is not the tech giant’s first failure in its attempt to make inroads into the healthcare system.

Havena partnership between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, seeks to forge a new model for employee health care by leveraging each company’s strengths.

The employer-focused joint venture launched just a few projects and was plagued by staff attrition before the partners called it quits after nearly three years of running.

In July, the tech giant announced plans to acquire hybrid nursing One heals in a roughly $3.9 billion cash deal, though that deal has yet to close.

The Federal Trade Commission is investigates 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 about the deal on Sept. 2.

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