Amazon is entering into the virtual healthcare space with the launch of Amazon Clinic.
Amazon Clinic will operate in 32 states and provide virtual care for more than 20 common health conditions, such as allergies, acne and hair loss, according to Nworah Ayogu, Amazon Clinic's chief medical officer and general manager.
"At Amazon, we want to make it dramatically easier for people to get and stay healthy," said Ayogu. "We’ve begun that journey with Amazon Pharmacy—where customers can get their medication delivered to their door conveniently—in just two days for Prime Members. We’ve also entered into an agreement to acquire One Medical, a human-centered and technology-powered provider of primary care. One Medical members benefit from a dedicated relationship with their provider, a friendly and convenient in-office experience, and ongoing engagement via a dedicated app."
Ayogu noted that "Amazon Pharmacy and One Medical (once the deal closes) are two key ways we’re working to make care more convenient and accessible. But we also know that sometimes you just need a quick interaction with a clinician for a common health concern that can be easily addressed virtually. We’ve thought hard about how to improve this part of the experience as well. That’s why today we’re also introducing Amazon Clinic, a message-based virtual care service that connects customers with affordable virtual care options when and how they need it—at home, after dinner, at the grocery store or on the go—for more than 20 common health conditions, such as allergies, acne, and hair loss."
He added, "We believe that improving both the occasional and ongoing engagement experience is necessary to making care dramatically better. We also believe that customers should have the agency to choose what works best for them. Amazon Clinic is just one of the ways we’re working to empower people to take control of their health by providing access to convenient, affordable care in partnership with trusted providers. Our new healthcare store lets customers choose from a network of leading telehealth providers based on their preferences. Every telehealth provider on Amazon Clinic has gone through rigorous clinical quality and customer experience evaluations by Amazon’s clinical leadership team."
Ayogu pointed out that Amazon Clinic is simple and easy to use. To get started, customers select their condition, then choose their preferred provider from a list of licensed and qualified telehealth providers. Next, they complete a short intake questionnaire. Customers and clinicians then directly connect through a secure message-based portal, giving customers the flexibility to message their clinician when it’s most convenient for them—anytime, anywhere. After the message-based consultation, the clinician will send a personalized treatment plan via the portal, including any necessary prescriptions to the customer’s preferred pharmacy.
"Virtual care isn’t right for every problem—and if we think that may be the case, we will let you know upfront, before you connect with a provider. Our goal is to make sure you get the care that’s right for you," said Ayogu.
For customers, the cost of consultations will vary by provider and includes ongoing follow-up messages with their clinician for up to two weeks after the initial consultation. Amazon Clinic does not yet accept insurance. If a prescription is part of treatment, Amazon Clinic customers may select any pharmacy to fill it, including Amazon Pharmacy, Amazon’s full-service online pharmacy that offers 24/7 access to pharmacists and fast, free delivery of prescription medications. Similar to a traditional doctor’s visit, the cost of any medication prescribed is not included in the cost of the visit, but customers may use their insurance to pay for medications.
"Initially available in 32 states, Amazon Clinic is a convenient virtual care option that offers up-front pricing, and treatment within hours, instead of days—helping customers achieve better health. Welcome to easy-to-use, effective care for common health conditions," Ayogu said.