Sep 25, 2019

Amazon's on-site medical care for employees isn't anything new

The Amazon logo. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Amazon is working with a physician practice in Seattle to provide virtual care as well as in-person care at home or the office for certain local employees, CNBC reports.

Between the lines: If this concept sounds familiar, it is. On-site clinics run by employers have been around for decades. Walmart also operates its own clinics

  • Amazon is pretty much doing that, except it's adding a telemedicine app and home-delivered medications.
  • A noteworthy exclusion: People who have Kaiser Permanente insurance through Amazon are not eligible for this.

The bottom line: Amazon's experiment is small, targets a healthier working-age population, and borrows existing ideas (telemedicine and employer-managed clinics) that have had negligible effects on the health care system. This isn't transformational.

  • And if Amazon employees have a heart attack, they will still need to go to a hospital — where care is significantly more expensive than video visits or text chats, and where quality and billing practices are all over the place.

Go deeper: Health care execs homing in on Amazon

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Amazon wants Alexa to leave home

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many of the most important of the dozens of new devices Amazon launched Wednesday have a similar goal: to get people to use Alexa, its voice assistant, outside the house.

Why it matters: Unlike its competitors Apple and Google, Amazon doesn't have its own smartphone platform to use as a home for its voice assistant. As a result, Amazon needs to find other places to put Alexa.

Go deeperArrowSep 26, 2019

More doctors treating patients by text message

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More doctors are linking up with companies that allow them to treat patients via text or online chat, AP reports.

Why it matters: Texting provides a convenience even video chats can't provide, but there are limits to how much a doctor can help without seeing a patient at all.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019

Walmart is winning the antitrust wars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

At a moment when regulators, politicians and consumers are railing against companies getting too big, one behemoth has been growing under the radar: Walmart.

The big picture: Walmart already had its turn as the corporate villain in the 1980s. Now, as tech companies bear the brunt of the scrutiny, the retail giant is amassing wealth — earning $514.4 billion in revenue, the most of any company on Earth, in 2018.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019