A service providing virtual physician consultations for a variety of health conditions, simply named Amazon Clinic, is the online retailer’s newest dive into the healthcare space. First announced in November, the product went nationwide this month, giving residents, including older adults, of all 50 states and Washington, DC, on-demand access to clinical advice.
Customers select a health condition from a list of more than 30 — which includes high blood pressure, COVID-19, hair loss and more — and can choose video- or message-based virtual doctor appointments. Amazon Clinic does not accept insurance; part of the goal is serving uninsured or underinsured patients, according to a Yahoo Finance report.
Users then are navigated to a chat room with a licensed medical professional who can recommend treatment, including medication prescription, while the patient remains comfortably at home.
“Amazon Clinic has incredibly high standards for clinical quality and a high technical bar,” said Guy Friedman, the founder and CEO of SteadyMD, a telehealth infrastructure company that provides healthcare services through Amazon Clinic.
The platform is Amazon’s third attempt to enter the healthcare space. First, it joined with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to form Haven. The service failed after less than three years on the market, due to an inability to undercut established healthcare providers and challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Harvard Business Review.
What will this attempt bring to the table? Low-cost care available to customers whenever and wherever they might need it, according to a statement.
“I’ve seen firsthand that patients want to be healthy but lack the time, tools, or resources to effectively manage their care.” said Amazon Clinic’s Chief Medical Officer and General Manager Nworah Ayogu, MD, in the statement. “Amazon Clinic removes barriers by helping customers treat their everyday health concerns wherever they are, at any time of day. And, they can see the cost before they start the visit.”