Health

Amazon launches on-demand healthcare clinic for Seattle-area employees

Healthcare is getting the Amazon remedy.

The tech large at the moment launched Amazon Care, a main care service for its employees that mixes telemedicine checkups, at-home or in-office physician’s visits and prescription deliveries via a single program.

That is the most recent transfer into healthcare by Amazon, which has additionally been pursuing prescription drug delivery, dabbling in employee benefits, utilizing cloud computing to mine medical records, and reportedly developing earbuds that monitor your exercise. Tech rivals like Apple, Google and Microsoft are additionally making headway into healthcare with efforts that vary from health-oriented wearable units to synthetic intelligence techniques that may diagnose illnesses.

Right here’s how Amazon Care works: Sick employees can signal right into a cell app to satisfy with a nurse practitioner in real-time via textual content or video. If the situation can’t be recognized or handled remotely, the employees can request {that a} clinician go to them at residence or within the workplace to carry out exams, administer vaccines, gather samples or different widespread duties. This system additionally features a service for prescriptions, which can be delivered in as little as two hours or despatched to a pharmacy to be picked up.

Amazon has contracted Oasis Medical Group, a service supplier, to ship healthcare companies to its employees. In line with public documents, Oasis is led by Dr. Martin Levine, who was reportedly hired by Amazon final yr and identifies himself as a marketing consultant with the corporate. Martin beforehand led a community of clinics in Seattle at Iora Well being, which affords main care for Medicare sufferers.

However what’s most stunning concerning the pilot program, referred to as Amazon Care, is that it’s unrelated to the corporate’s two most distinguished healthcare efforts. Pillpack, the drug-delivery startup that Amazon reportedly paid $1 billion for final yr, isn’t concerned in this system, an organization spokesperson advised GeekWire in an interview. Neither is Haven, Amazon’s joint healthcare enterprise with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway that was created particularly to enhance healthcare for employees.

As a substitute, Amazon Care is being run via the corporate’s worker profit group. Proper now, it’s an invite-only service obtainable to a number of thousand Amazon employees in Seattle, however the firm hopes to roll it out employees in different cities if the pilot goes nicely, the spokesperson mentioned. Amazon doesn’t plan to supply the service to most of the people.

Keep in mind that time when Amazon constructed AWS for itself? https://t.co/ePIlDExGtF

— Rani Molla (@ranimolla) September 24, 2019

“We’re presently piloting a healthcare profit designed to assist Amazon employees get quick entry to healthcare with out an appointment, on the comfort of their schedules, at their most well-liked location (residence, workplace, or digital),” the corporate mentioned in an announcement. “Amazon Care eliminates journey and wait time, connecting employees and their members of the family to a doctor or nurse practitioner via reside chat or video, with the choice for in-person comply with up companies from a registered nurse starting from immunizations to instantaneous strep throat detection.”

The sign-up web site for employees is now reside at Amazon.care and was first spotted by CNBC reporter Christina Farr, who reported last year that the corporate was planning a healthcare clinic pilot program.

In an analogous effort, Apple launched a network of medical clinics for its employees final yr.

Along with giving employees extra handy entry to healthcare, Amazon Care additionally has the potential to cut back the period of time that sufferers spend out of the workplace at docs’ places of work or sick at residence.

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