Amazon has launched Amazon Care, a virtual healthcare service that offers telemedicine via chat and in-home visits as well as prescription drug delivery.
Employees of the e-commerce company in the Seattle area will be first to experience the new service.
Amazon Care For Amazon Employees
Under Amazon Care, employees will have the option to speak to a healthcare professional through in-app chat or video call to seek medical advice. If an in-person consultation is deemed necessary, the app can also connect the patient to a nurse who will be dispatched to their home or at the office to conduct tests and treatment.
Also, the app can facilitate the delivery of medications at the employee's home or office. An option to pick up prescription drugs at a pharmacy is also available.
While Amazon is yet to officially announce Amazon Care outside the company, a website is publicly accessible and it offers more information about the virtual healthcare service.
Amazon Care is described as the "first stop for healthcare." It can handle colds, allergies, infections, and minor injuries as well as offer vaccines, lab work, and contraception. It, however, does not provide emergency care.
"Medical needs — from colds to allergies, illnesses, and injuries — can strike at any moment, and scheduling appointments, sitting in waiting rooms and planning follow up services can take time and cause frustration," reads a message sent to employees.
Only those who live and work within the service area, which is only in and around Seattle and those who are enrolled to an Amazon health insurance plan (except Kaiser Permanente) are eligible to access the program. A wider rollout to more employees is being planned, however. Primary care services are available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time during weekdays and between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. during weekends.
Amazon is not the first tech company to open its health clinics for employees. Apple has AC Wellness, the medical centers for employees that are located in Santa Clara Valley.
Amazon Enters Healthcare Industry
Amazon has recently been increasing its presence in the health care space. Last year, the trillion-dollar company acquired Pill Pack, an online pharmacy start-up for $753 million.