Amazon is rapidly expanding “Amazon Care”, the retail giant’s telehealth service. While Amazon Care's virtual healthcare services are now available across America, the company is gearing up to offer in-person medical care in 20 cities.
Amazon launched Amazon Care in 2019. Back then, the company restricted the service to its employees. However, expansion has been swift. The retail giant is keenly interested in the healthcare sector, especially in America. The company even confirmed that healthcare is one of the key areas it is investing in, in the coming year.
In 2021, Amazon offered Amazon Care to businesses in Washington state. The service is now available in Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Austin, Los Angeles, Arlington, and other cities. Amazon plans to offer in-person medical care in 20 major American cities in 2022. Cities such as San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, and New York City seem to be on the priority list.
Amazon has tied up with a clinical services provider called Care Medical to offer in-person Amazon Care. As part of the expansion, the retail giant has hired doctors and nurses across the country. These healthcare providers will offer urgent and primary care services, including COVID-19 and flu testing, vaccinations, treatment of illnesses and injuries, preventive care, sexual health, and prescription requests and refills.
Amazon Care will first attempt to address diagnosis and treatment over video. If there’s no headway, or if the subscriber needs additional care, Amazon promises to dispatch a nurse practitioner to the patient's home. Interestingly, the company claims a patient satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5.
Amazon Care will compete with Verizon BlueJeans Telehealth, Omron, Philips, and startups such as HelloMD, Teladoc Health, and Doctor on Demand in the virtual healthcare market. Even Walmart kickstarted its telehealth business by acquiring MeMD last year.
The US healthcare industry is a $4.1 trillion behemoth. The National Health Expenditure Accounts suggests an average American citizen spends about $12,500 per year on health and wellbeing. Health spending accounts for almost a fifth (19.7 percent to be precise) of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).