In a bid to dive deeper into the healthcare market, Amazon announced today that it's bringing Amazon Care, its app-based telehealth service, to more companies around Seattle starting today. Additionally, the online retailer giant plans to expand it to companies and other Amazon workers across the US later this summer. The move fits right alongside the launch of Amazon Pharmacy last fall, which offers two-day prescription deliveries to Amazon Prime members (and others with a small fee).
When Amazon Care launched 18 months ago, we found it to be an intriguing entry in the remote healthcare market. In addition to the usual video or text chat diagnosis with nurses or doctors, the service can also dispatch someone to your home for in-person support. They could, for example, administer vaccines, draw blood or offer a more accurate diagnosis. By doing so, Amazon Core eliminates the biggest problem with other remote health services: For serious issues, you often still need to leave your house to see a doctor.
Amazon says it's expanding Care's in-person service to Washington, D.C., Baltimore and other cities in the coming months. And I'd wager it could end up being the most successful aspect of Care as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. It's much safer to have a medical practitioner come to you, rather than fighting through a waiting room of potentially sick people.