Amazon launches new virtual healthcare service to help common ailments

Amazon launches new virtual healthcare service to help common ailments

Following its agreement to acquire One Medical, Amazon is extending its healthcare services; this time, it has opened a new virtual care option to assist with common illnesses including allergies, acne, and hair loss.

The Amazon Clinic, which was introduced on Tuesday, will let users in 32 states communicate doctors through a private portal to request customised treatments and medications for common diseases. Patients can get help for migraines, dandruff, urinary tract infections, and more.

Customers can utilise insurance to help pay for pharmaceuticals given by a registered clinician through the platform even though the service does not yet take insurance. The business stated that any pharmacy could fill the prescriptions, but it also mentioned that Amazon Pharmacy was a possibility.

Customers specify the condition they are interested in discussing before selecting a chosen provider to use the service. They will connect with a therapist through a secure messaging gateway after completing a questionnaire, and the clinician will react when it’s convenient for the customer. Before a customer connects with a provider, Amazon promised to inform them if a condition can’t be addressed using the service.

The price of the initial consultation, which Amazon said in “many cases” would be equivalent to or less than the price of the typical copay, includes two weeks of follow-up messaging. Additionally, customers have the option of paying for the service with funds through flexible spending accounts and healthcare spending accounts.

The launch of the new programme follows Amazon’s announcement a few months ago that it would be discontinuing Amazon Care, a different telehealth service, by the end of the year. The service, which debuted in 2019 as a pilot for employees, featured in-home visits from nurses for testing and immunizations in addition to virtual urgent care.

Neil Lindsay, the leader of Amazon Health Services, stated in an email announcing the closure that Amazon Care “not a complete enough offering for the large enterprise customers we have been targeting, and wasn’t going to work long-term.”

Some lawmakers and authorities are concerned about how Amazon would handle and preserve sensitive information in its healthcare initiatives. According to the company’s statement on the Amazon Clinic, it has “stringent customer privacy policies and comply with HIPAA and all other applicable laws and regulations.”

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