After mothballing Amazon Care, Amazon reenters telehealth with Amazon Clinic, a marketplace for third-party virtual consultants • TechCrunch


The ink is not yet dry The acquisition of OneMedical by Amazon for 4 billion dollars, but in the meantime, the online services giant is taking a step closer to telehealth, and medical services in general, on its own. The company unveils today Amazon Clinicwhich Amazon describes as a virtual health “storefront”: users can search, connect and pay for telehealth care, treating a variety of conditions that are among the most popular for telehealth consultations today.

Amazon Clinic is initially launching in 32 US states. It does not work with health insurance and this point, and the overall price will vary depending on providers, conditions and location. (An example, connecting with a clinic to nevada acne treatment will cost around $40 and you will have the choice between two suppliers whose different offers are presented in a comparison table. Another example, for pink eye (conjunctivitis) in New Jerseyhas a wider price gap between $30 and $48 between the two providers listed.)

Amazon Clinic appeared to leak about a week ago when users Point a video on YouTube which was later quickly deleted as the media gained attention. Now it is officially launched and at a critical time.

It’s only been a few months since Amazon close Amazon Care, which was previously a telehealth service created for its own employees step up plans to launch it nationally and to third-party companies. And more generally, the company is, like many others in tech, feel the economic pinch. He’s getting ready to make a big round of layoffs, potentially 10,000 jobs and maybe this week; and moreover it was the downsizing and the elimination of a number of its activities.

Amazon Clinic talks about the company taking another pass in the health market and positioning itself as a player in what is a perennial problem in the United States: how to bridge the gap between people in need of medical help for conditions more complicated than a trip to the pharmacy, but may not justify costly and time-consuming trips to the doctor.

(Other conditions covered in addition to acne and pink eye include asthma refills, birth control, cold sores, dandruff, eczema, erectile dysfunction, eyelash growth, genital herpes, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hay fever, hyperlipidemia refills, hypertension refills, hypothyroidism refills, male pattern hair loss, migraines, sinusitis, smoking cessation , urinary tract infections (UTIs), yeast infections, etc.)

The clinic is very well built in the Amazon mold. This is a marketplace where third parties can leverage Amazon’s platform and reach to find customers, and Amazon can leverage third parties to quickly tailor offerings to its consumers. And it helps Amazon expand the business funnel for other Amazon operations — in this case, Amazon Pharmacy, which can fill all prescriptions from clinic visits, and wouldn’t have been as big as expected. (Users can also complete Amazon Clinic scripts at other pharmacies.)

We asked Amazon if it plans to provide its own in-house telehealth consulting service (private label, in e-commerce parlance) alongside third parties, and what the plans are for other states, if there are any. has international ambitions, and whether he will accept health insurance for the clinic in the future. This may lay the groundwork for Amazon to link what it’s building here with OneMedical when this acquisition closes.

The big picture for Amazon Clinic is that the service will fit within Amazon’s larger ambitions in the healthcare market. The company already has an online pharmacy, Amazon Pharmacy, which handles subscriptions and lets users buy over-the-counter medications through Prime subscriptions that ship items within two days.

Amazon also believes its new telehealth service fills a gap in the market to provide users with health consultations for more minor ailments. Some situations require more direct physician involvement, which may be covered by One Medical or its existing health care coverage; some situations can be solved by visiting a pharmacy on your own.

“But we also know that sometimes you just need a quick interaction with a clinician for a common health issue that can be easily resolved virtually,” the company noted in its blog post announcing the service.

Amazon has been making inroads and showing its ambitions in the field of health for several years. Amazon Pharmacy was launched following its acquisition of PillPack. And he explored health care as a business opportunity, with Alexa integrations in health settings.

But Amazon Care isn’t the only step back it’s taken on its long journey. In 2018 he formed a JV with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to build an employee healthcare operation, appointing a top doctor to direct it. This service never seemed to materialize as expected and close shop in 2021.

We’ll update this article as we learn more.


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