By Nathalie Voit
Amazon’s virtual health services are now available nationwide, the company announced on Feb. 8.
Amazon Care, Amazon’s telehealth program, provides virtual care and at-home visits, in addition to patient-centric services like Care Chat, Video Care, and free telehealth consultations. The hybrid care program launched in 2019 as a pilot program for Amazon employees around the Seattle headquarters area but has since expanded nationwide amid growing demand for flexible at-home care offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In-person care services will also be expanding to more than 20 new cities in 2022, including Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City. Currently, in-home care services are limited to locations like Seattle, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Austin, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Arlington. Provider video or home visits will be available for a small fee.
Amazon Care will offer virtual urgent and primary care services like COVID-19 and flu testing, preventive care, ongoing care, vaccinations, prescription requests, and refills, in addition to specialized services like joint care and sleep care, according to its website.
When follow-up care is needed, nurses will be dispatched to patients’ homes to carry out labs, tests, treatments, and screening services where in-person visits are available, Amazon said.
“Patients are tired of a health care system that doesn’t put them first. Our patient-centric service is changing that, one visit at a time,” said the director of Amazon Care, Kristen Helton. “We’ve brought our on-demand urgent and primary care services to patients nationwide. As we grow the service, we’ll continue to work with our customers to address their needs.”
The company faces significant competition from other established telehealth providers like Teladoc and Dr. on Demand, which already work with select health insurers. However, the e-commerce giant is counting on its unique hybrid approach to healthcare to draw employers away from other providers.
Its plan seems to be working. On Tuesday, the online retail giant announced it is partnering with key customers like hotel chain Hilton, chipmakers Silicon Labs and TrueBlue, and Whole Foods Market to offer its on-demand medical services to their employees.
“The companies said three key differentiators stood out: Amazon Care’s comprehensive solution; on-demand access to high-quality clinicians through Care Medical, Amazon Care’s clinical services provider; and a seamless patient experience,” Amazon said in the announcement.
According to Amazon, the primary care service has a customer satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5.