Amazon continues to foray into the healthcare industry with a new telehealth platform; a veritable Amazon Clinic.
The service comes just four months after the tech giant announced it would buy the healthcare company One Medical up to $3.9 billion. Through this collaboration, Amazon clinic (opens in a new tab) There will be digital health services and direct access to company doctors for 23 “common health conditions,” including allergies, hair loss and migraines.
Amazon Clinic shouldn’t take over the primary physician, nor solve more serious problems. The purpose of the platform is to help people with ailments that require private care but can be easily resolved through the internet. For more complex cases, your clinician will recommend in-person care.
The announcement states that Amazon Care is only available in 32 states, but plans to expand to all 50. The 18 states without Amazon Care include Arizona, Delaware, Mississippi, New York and West Virginia.
how does this work
To get help, you’ll first need to go to Amazon Clinic Homepage (opens in a new tab) and select something like “Seasonal Allergies.” From there, you select the state you live in (assuming the service is available to you) and choose an online clinic. You answer a few questions about what you’re going through, the information is reviewed, and the clinician gets back to you within hours. There are no subscription fees to use the Amazon Clinic website, but you must pay the clinician yourself.
Services are not backed by insurance; however, you can pay through an FSA (flexible spending account) or HSA (health savings account). Also, what you pay doesn’t include medical bills; that’s extra. According to the announcement, Amazon does plan to accept insurance at some point in the future.
Consultations are all done “through a secure message-based portal,” giving [you] message flexibility [your] Clinicians” whenever you want. No video calls or live chats. From the portal, the healthcare provider will send a “personalized treatment plan…including any necessary prescriptions…” that can be filled at your local pharmacy …you are not forced to use Amazon Pharmacy (opens in a new tab) But using it is of course an option.
Amazon Clinic also offers prescription renewal services, but the options are limited. It covers just five prescriptions, including asthma and high blood pressure medications. But the process is still the same: answer some questions, and you’ll get an answer a few hours later.
We asked Amazon if it has plans for global expansion and if it supports video calling. This story will be updated if we hear back.
change of scenery
The first question everyone might think of is “Is this platform secure?” Amazon Clinic will “comply with HIPAA and all other applicable laws and regulations” to keep user data safe, the company said. Plus, this isn’t Amazon’s first rodeo in healthcare.
before this, Amazon Care helps businesses Provide employees with health care benefits.However, that Service will be offline before December 31 (opens in a new tab) Because its scope is too limited for the company. It will be interesting to see the impact of Amazon Clinic. Providing expedited virtual health services can help with in-person care by reducing the burden and shortening wait times.
If you’re interested in other types of telecare, be sure to read TechRadar’s list Best Telehealth Software of 2022.