2021-03-19 by W.M.
Amazon looks to expand its telehealth footprint
The tech giant is expanding Amazon Care — which currently provides its Washington-based employees with access to virtual and in-person health services — to its workers nationwide. And it plans to offer the service to other companies as a workplace benefit for their own employees.
Amazon Care gives workers on-demand access to virtual chats or video visits with medical providers who can provide treatment of illnesses or injury, Covid testing and flu shots, nutrition consulting, pre-pregnancy planning and a range of other services. Its doctors can order prescription medications, which are delivered to patients’ homes by Amazon. The program also offers in-person visits by providers to workers’ homes for additional services such as blood draws.
“The program’s secure, HIPAA-compliant service also allows employees and their dependents to see the same dedicated teams of medical professionals, which creates long-term relationships that benefit overall health,” Amazon said, adding that an app for the service is available to give employees easy access.
As of Wednesday, the full range of Amazon Care services is available to employees at other Washington-based companies. This summer, the virtual services will be available to employees of Amazon and other firms nationwide. Amazon also plans to expand the in-person visit offering to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, and other cities in coming months.
Amazon is in discussions with a number of companies about using Amazon Care, according to a spokesperson, who did not disclose the names of any potential customers. The spokesperson also declined to share details on how much it will cost other companies to provide their employees with the service.
More virtual care
The move to expand Amazon Care follows a boom in telemedicine during the pandemic — research firm Gartner estimates that by 2023, virtual interactions will exceed face-to-face health care visits.