Amazon has been diving into the healthcare market in recent years and has now announced that it will be expanding its Amazon Care service, both company-wide and publicly. The service first piloted in Amazon’s home city, Seattle, and has been operating for the last year and a half. Now the company has accumulated the confidence needed to expand and plans to start offering the Amazon Care platform to its employees nationwide, as well as to companies who have chosen to use the platform for their employee healthcare interfaces.
Amazon surprised many last November as it announced the public access of its pharmacy services. This virtual drugstore, which operated on a trial basis for a year leading up to the announcement, accepts most health insurance and provides free, 2-day delivery to Prime customers on their medications. Amazon Pharmacy is an extension of a startup acquired in 2018, PillPack, which was a licensed delivery service with access to all 50 states for operation.
Now, to follow suit with its previous success in the sector, Amazon continues on its venture, seeking to dominate telehealth with a service that combines virtual and in-person care to offer the speed and efficiency that’s grown synonymous with the Amazon brand. This platform will enable access to around-the-clock virtual care as well as live chats with doctors and nurses for Amazon employees and participating companies. For conditions that require an in-person visit, the app will be able to dispatch healthcare practitioners to customers’ homes for a variety of services, and even track when the physician is set to arrive.
The idea of a company providing a proprietary healthcare platform to its employees is not a new one, following the likes of Apple and Google and their employee health services. Amazon, however, is taking the concept a step further by expanding its offerings to other participants, in its hunger to dominate the market. The program is set to make the expansion launch this summer, and with success, may make its way more expansively into public hands.