Amazon has begun offering its virtual healthcare service “Amazon Care” to other employers as it firmly sets its sights on disrupting the sector.
Amazon Care was launched in September 2019, offering Amazon’s employees and their families in Seattle in-app video consultations with a “doctor, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse” enabling them to receive an instant diagnosis, referral or treatment.
The online giant has now announced plans to roll its virtual healthcare service out to third-party companies in Washington, marking a significant ramping up of its ambitions within the space.
Businesses can now contract Amazon Care and offer it as a workplace benefit, subsidizing healthcare costs for employees.
This summer, Amazon also says it will offer its healthcare service to its employees and their families across the US.
“Virtual medicine is absolutely part of the future of how healthcare is delivered,” Amazon Care director Kristen Helton said in an interview.
“We’ve now evolved to offer more services. We can do more primary care.”
In November last year, Amazon launched a new online pharmacy service offering up to 80 per cent discounts for Prime subscribers in a major threat to traditional pharmacies.
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid and CVS Health, the US’ largest pharmacy operator, all saw shares drop by at least nine per cent following the announcement.
Months earlier Amazon filed for an “Amazon Pharmacy” trademark in the UK, suggesting that it plans to roll out its healthcare offering outside of the US relatively quickly.