Amazon expands health care footprint with virtual clinic offering
Amazon on Tuesday launched a new virtual care service called Amazon Clinic, which offers treatment with a few clicks and an out-of-pocket cost on par with a standard co-pay, for common medical conditions.
Why it matters: The move solidifies Amazon's intention to be a major player in the consumer-driven health care space, building out services and capabilities around their other offerings like Amazon Pharmacy and their recent purchase of OneMedical.
Yes, but: It comes on the heels of Amazon announcing it would shutter Amazon Care earlier this year, largely after the virtual care and telehealth service failed to take hold with large enterprise customers, per Fierce Healthcare.
- Now, Amazon Clinic is targeting consumers directly, non-exclusively contracting with virtual providers Steady MD and HealthTap to offer services in 32 states at launch.
- Customers get to choose which virtual health provider they'd like to use and see how much it will cost before they begin a consultation. The service does not yet accept insurance coverage.
The intrigue: Amazon Clinic could be a way for providers to break into the virtual care market without having to create their own "digital front door," Nathan Ray, a partner at West Monroe, told Axios.
- Specifics on how Amazon Clinic directly connects to the company's OneMedical clinics are likely still being worked out, Ray said.
- The new service line does clarify one of the company's goals: "It's clear they want patient data," Ray said.
Be smart: It's not all good news for Amazon, which plans to lay off approximately 10,000 workers, the New York Times reported this week.