Amazon launches ‘virtual health store’, Amazon Clinic

Like Amazon waiting for federal approval Following the $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical, the tech giant is continuing to invest in healthcare with the launch of Amazon Clinic.

Amazon launched Amazon Clinic on Tuesday. The clinic will act as a “virtual health store” providing users with access to third-party telemedicine providers.

Tuesday’s announcement comes after a broader restructuring within the company.

Nathan Ray, a West Monroe healthcare and life sciences practice consulting partner, said Amazon’s big plans for healthcare are still unclear.

“It has yet to be seen,” he said. “Are they just groping or will all of this be connected into something bigger?”

Ray said the big tech players that rely on cloud data for profit, will each try to bring healthcare services into businesses in a different way.

Multiple stores reported that Amazon is planning to cut 10,000 of its workforce earlier this week. The layoffs — which would be the largest in the tech and e-commerce giant’s history — make up about 3% of the company’s workforce.

The layoffs of the company, according to The New York Times, were targeted at the company’s Alexa and its retail products as well as human resources.

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Amazon has persevered in its efforts to promote health care even after the joint healthcare joint venture with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathawaydisbanded last year.

The results have been mixed. One month after acquiring One Medical in July, Amazon announced turn off Amazon Care service at the end of the year. Amazon Health Services also includes Amazon’s pharmaceutical and diagnostics businesses, including an online pharmacy to launch in 2020, which grew out of the company’s acquisition of PillPack.

“Clearly… they’re not giving up on healthcare,” Nathan Ray, West Monroe’s healthcare and life sciences practice consulting partner, said after the company. bought One Medical in July. “They’re picking their points and they’re continuing to widen their hedges.”

HealthTap, a virtual primary care provider, and SteadyMD, a telehealth provider operating in all 50 states, listed services in several states and conditions.

Amazon says it will treat 20 non-urgent health conditions. Conditions range from sinusitis and urinary tract infections, to acne, hair loss, and birth control.

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The cost of each consultation will fluctuate, but many conditions quote around $40.

After describing their condition, patients are taken to an intake questionnaire and then connected to the clinician through a messaging portal. Prescriptions can be sent to any pharmacy, including Amazon’s own online pharmacy.

The service does not accept insurance for visits, but users can choose to use FSA or HSA funds for payment. The cost of a specific consultation will be shared with members in advance, Amazon said in the blog.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the service would be exclusive to Prime members only.


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