Amazon Care launched for the company’s Seattle-based employees

Amazon Care

Amazon has opened its very first virtual health clinic with in-home follow-ups for employees in Seattle. Dubbed Amazon Care, it offers a combination of telemedicine and in-person services.

The virtual offering includes an “in-app video visit with a doctor, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse … for advice, answers, diagnosis, treatment or referrals,” according to the website. Employees will have an option to see a health provider via a mobile app or website, and they can text a nurse on any health topic in minutes. For those needing a follow-up care, Amazon Care can arrange for a nurse to pay a visit at home.

Amazon will also prescribe medications via Amazon Care within a few hours, or offer a way for employees to pick them up at a preferred pharmacy.

In 2018, Amazon joined up with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to tackle rising healthcare costs for their combined 1.2 million employees. The company also has a pharmacy group under PillPack, a company it acquired in mid-2018, and an R&D group sometimes referred to as Grand Challenge or 1492.

“We’re currently piloting a healthcare benefit designed to help Amazon employees get fast access to healthcare without an appointment, at the convenience of their schedules, at their preferred location (home, office, or virtual),” Amazon’s spokesperson confirmed the news to CNBC. “Amazon Care eliminates travel and wait time, connecting employees and their family members to a physician or nurse practitioner through live chat or video, with the option for in-person follow up services from a registered nurse ranging from immunizations to instant strep throat detection.”

Amazon isn’t the only technology giant to launch its own health clinics for employees, with Apple operating AC Wellness clinics, which are based near its headquarters.

However, Amazon seems to have made the deepest move into telemedicine, which represents a $130 billion market opportunity if the company expands its clinic beyond a pilot for its own employees.