Amazon already dominates your online shopping. Now it’s hoping to persuade your employer to offer you its telehealth and in-person health services.
The tech giant on Tuesday announced plans to expand home visits for health services including vaccinations, tests and physical assessments to more than 20 cities in 2022, including the Miami metropolitan area. Amazon said it couldn’t give a more specific timeframe.
The service would be available to patients whose employers are providing Amazon Care — a mixture of telehealth and in-person services — as part of their healthcare plan. Amazon employees 18 and older and their immediate families (spouses and kids), who have access to virtual doctor visits through the program would also be able to schedule an in-person home visit.
Amazon Care is part of the tech giant’s move into the healthcare industry and was initially launched in 2019 as a pilot program for employees in a few cities including Seattle, where the company is based. Last year, Amazon announced that other companies in the United States could also enroll in the service.
“Patients are tired of a healthcare system that doesn’t put them first. Our patient-centric service is changing that, one visit at a time,” Amazon Care Director Kristen Helton said in a statement. “We’ve brought our on-demand urgent and primary care services to patients nationwide. As we grow the service, we’ll continue to work with our customers to address their needs.”
How does Amazon Care work?
Here’s how Amazon Care works: Using an app, patients can either chat or do a video call with a clinician — a doctor, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse — for non-life threatening medical needs.
But unlike other telehealth services like Teladoc, Amazon Care is not running around the clock. Amazon’s service is available 365 days a year, including holidays, but from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST, according to its FAQ guide.
Doctors can diagnose and treat patients who are sick, have a minor injury, are experiencing symptoms of allergies, cold, flu and COVID-19, or are having trouble sleeping or managing stress. They can also talk to patients about pre-pregnancy planning and can assist with preventive care, such as immunizations and evidence-based screenings.
Clinicians will also be able to help treat chronic conditions such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, coronary artery disease and mild to moderate depression and anxiety, Amazon said. They can also prescribe certain medications that can be fulfilled at your preferred pharmacy.
At-home appointments are already available in select cities. Once that feature becomes available in the Miami area, nurses would be able to visit a patient’s home to administer routine vaccinations, perform certain physical assessments, or conduct specific tests like checking for a sexually transmitted infection. The costs for home visits will vary depending on your health plan.
The company says Hilton is offering Amazon Care as a benefit to all of its employees nationwide. So is tech company Silicon Labs and Whole Foods Market, which Amazon owns.
To learn more about Amazon Care, visit amazon.care
This story was originally published February 8, 2022 6:31 PM.