Amazon launches Amazon Care, a virtual medical clinic for employees
26 Sep 2019
Amazon has launched a virtual health clinic with in-home follow-ups for employees in Seattle, dubbed Amazon Care.
The company announced the program on a web site, Amazon.care, that is currently publicly accessible but did not formally announce the news outside the company. “Amazon Care is a benefit being piloted for Amazon employees and their families in the Seattle area,” the website reads.
CNBC previously reported that Amazon was working on an employee health clinic for its Seattle-based employees. Those discussions kicked off last summer with a few hires, including a top Seattle doctor who ran a network of health clinics.
The clinic offers a combination of telemedicine and in-person services.
Its virtual offering includes an “in-app video visit with a doctor, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse … for advice, answers, diagnosis, treatment or referrals,” according to the web site. Employees will have an option to see a health provider via a mobile app or website, and they can text a nurse on any health topic in minutes. If an employee needs follow-up care, Amazon Care can arrange for a nurse to pay a visit at home.
Amazon will also prescribe medications via Amazon Care within a few hours, or offer a way for employees to pick them up at a preferred pharmacy.
Health care represents a $3.5 trillion sector for Amazon, which is looking at ways to bring in technology ranging from cloud computing to medical record technology.
The company in 2018 joined up with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway for an effort, later called Haven, to explore how to move the needle on health-care expenses, without compromising quality, for their combined 1.2 million employees. It has a pharmacy group under PillPack, a company it acquired in mid-2018, and a research and development group sometimes referred to as Grand Challenge or 1492. CNBC reported earlier this week that the company is working on wireless earbuds with some health and fitness-tracking features, representing its first foray into the wearables space, and could introduce them as early as Wednesday.
By Christina Farr