In order to dive deeper into the healthcare market, Amazon announced today that it is bringing Amazon Care, its application-based telehealth service, to more businesses around Seattle starting today. Additionally, the e-commerce giant plans to expand it to businesses and other Amazon workers across the United States later this summer. This decision is perfectly in line with the launch of Amazon Pharmacy last fall, which offers two-day prescription deliveries to Amazon Prime members (and others for a small fee).
When Amazon Care launched 18 months ago, we found this to be an attractive entry into the remote healthcare market. In addition to the usual diagnosis via video or text chat with nurses or doctors, the service can also send someone to your home for in-person support. They could, for example, administer vaccines, draw blood or provide a more precise diagnosis. In doing so, Amazon Core eliminates the biggest problem with other remote health services: For serious issues, you often still have to leave your home to see a doctor.
Amazon says it is expanding Care’s in-person service to Washington, DC, Baltimore and other cities in the coming months. And I bet that could become the most effective aspect of care as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is much safer to bring in a doctor, rather than fighting in a waiting room of potentially sick people.