Amazon is working on its own healthcare program. The company has launched a limited rollout in Seattle for employees and their families based in the city.
It is offering healthcare using the Amazon Care app. The app will provide users with access to health professionals over video chat and text. It is an effort to cut down on internal healthcare costs and work towards entering the massive healthcare industry.
Post the limited rollout, the program will be rolled out to more employees.
The company is currently partnering with the Oasis Medical Group to deliver telemedicine. In the last year, it has made acquisitions and partnerships focussed on healthcare. It acquired PillPack, an online pharmacy and partnered with six healthcare organisations to develop patient information skills for its voice assistant, Alexa. It also teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan to create a new healthcare company aimed at cutting healthcare costs.
The app is available only to a limited number of employees currently. If an employee is eligible for the program, he/she can request an invitation to join the company's healthcare program.
Another requirement is iOS 12.0 or Android 6.0 or later. Once an employee is signed up to the program, he/she can chat with a clinician over text/video calls and get advice on diagnoses and get recommendations. If upon assessment, the clinician believes that the employee needs further diagnoses or closer assessment, he/she will send a nurse to the employee's home or office.
"The Mobile Care nurse may collect lab samples, perform some onsite testing (such as strep tests), administer common vaccines, or perform physical examinations," states the Amazon Care website.
If you get prescribed medication, that will also be delivered since the company owns an online pharmacy.
However, the app doesn't provide emergency care. Its services are available from 8 AM to 9 PM on weekdays and 8 AM to 6 PM on weekends.
Amazon Care is not close to replacing the traditional healthcare model. However, it seeks to take care of everything apart from hospitalisation. The date of a commercial launch is not yet known.