Amazon Care launched 18 months ago to provide Amazon employees and their families immediate access to high-quality medical care. The service enables employees to connect with medical professionals via chat or video conference (typically in less than 60 seconds) and eliminates lengthy wait and travel times to get medical attention.
Amazon Care has two components: 1) virtual care, which connects patients to medical professionals via the Amazon Care app (available for both Android and iOS) and allows patients to quickly, conveniently, and confidently chat live with a nurse or doctor, via in-app messaging or video; and 2) in-person care, where Amazon Care can dispatch a medical professional to a patient’s home for additional care, ranging from routine blood draws to listening to a patient’s lungs, and also offer prescription delivery right to a patient’s door.
Until now, Amazon Care has been exclusively available to Amazon employees and their families in Washington state. Now, Amazon is announcing that Amazon Care is available to serve other Washington-based companies. Additionally, beginning this summer, Amazon Care will expand its virtual care to companies and Amazon employees in all 50 states across the U.S. Finally, Amazon Care’s in-person service will expand to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and other cities in the coming months.
The service for other employers
By supplying Amazon Care as a workplace benefit, employers are investing in the health and well-being of arguably their most important asset: their employees. Amazon Care enables employers to provide access to high-quality medical care within 60 seconds for employees, including options for care around the clock through messaging or video. Amazon Care gives instant access to a range of urgent and primary care services, including COVID-19 and flu testing, vaccinations, treatment of illnesses and injuries, preventive care, sexual health, prescription requests, refills, and delivery, and much more.
Patients also have tools to manage their care within the app-including scheduling follow-up visits with their preferred clinician, at their convenience. After visits, patients receive care summaries and follow-up reminders. When using the in-person option, patients also receive live updates on the estimated time of their clinician’s arrival to their home.
What customers are saying?
This expansion follows the successful launch of the service for Amazon’s own employees and their families, who have been using Amazon Care since September 2019, including Gina Baird, whose spouse works at Amazon. “My 3-year-old daughter woke up at 2 a.m. with a terrible cough, so bad that her breathing sounded restricted. Of course we were worried about COVID-19 and certainly did not want to go to an urgent care center or emergency room if we could avoid it,” said Gina. “Using Amazon Care, we were able to connect with a clinician in under a minute who provided medical advice that helped us get through the night. She also prescribed a medication that was delivered to our doorstep by 9 a.m. the next day. Thanks to Amazon Care, we were able to manage her illness without ever having to leave the house.”
The speed of the service was also critical for Nikhil Ravishankar, who needed a COVID-19 test before an unexpected trip. He opened his Amazon Care app, connected with a clinician via in-app messaging, was scheduled for a COVID-19 test the same day, and received his results the following morning.
“I had a situation where I had only two days before I needed to travel, which meant I had to quickly get tested for COVID-19 and know my results,” said Nikhil, who participated in the Seattle-focused pilot program. “I wanted a reliable test so I wouldn’t put anyone at risk, but I learned that if I went to my local clinic the turnaround time for test results could go beyond 48 hours-time that I didn’t have. I logged onto Amazon Care and was blown away. It took under a minute to connect to a medical professional and under 12 hours from setting up Amazon Care to getting my test results. I found the entire experience seamless.”
Another early user of Amazon Care, also in the Seattle-focused pilot, is Kimberly Kulesh. “Going to a doctor’s appointment is rarely convenient-from sitting in traffic, to waiting in the office to be seen, and then having to get home again. This makes an uncomfortable process even more challenging. With the old approach to healthcare, I often ended up taking more time off from work than I had planned, even for a routine check-up. This is not the case with Amazon Care. I love this service. I was scared to go to a doctor’s office to get my flu shot this year, so I scheduled an in-home appointment. It couldn’t have been easier or more convenient. A friendly nurse came to my house right on time, which meant I could do whatever I want to do right up until the last minute. I’ll never do my medical appointments any other way.”
One reason Amazon Care is receiving such positive feedback already is it is uniquely focused on patients and their changing needs. During shutdowns forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors’ offices were seeing fewer children for pediatric vaccines, so Amazon Care quickly adjusted its services to offer the vaccines in families’ homes. Amazon Care also started helping patients evaluate their work-from-home setups to optimize joint and muscle health, and a separate program was established for people struggling to sleep.
Amazon Care addresses a wide spectrum of patient needs through its primary care and urgent care offerings. Patients can access preventive care such as annual vaccinations, health screenings, and lifestyle advice. The service also supports patients’ wellness needs, including nutrition, pre-pregnancy planning, sexual health, help to quit smoking, and more. For immediate needs, patients can use Amazon Care to assess and treat illnesses and injuries on demand.
For continuity of care, the program’s secure, HIPAA-compliant service also allows employees and their dependents to see the same dedicated teams of medical professionals, which creates long-term relationships that benefit overall health. This is particularly important for recurring prescriptions and in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension.