Amazon announced a new healthcare service, Amazon Clinic, which will connect patients in 32 states to healthcare providers through a message-based portal. File Photo Friedemann Vogel/EPA-EFE
Nov. 15 (UPI) — Amazon’s all-encompassing grip of its customer base is expanding even further with Tuesday’s announcement of Amazon Clinic, a new virtual healthcare service that is to be offered in 32 states.
Amazon Clinic is a message-based service that allows patients to access licensed healthcare providers without an appointment or the need for video chat or live chat. Clinicians can discuss and treat more than 20 common medical conditions.
Dr. Nworah Ayogu, chief medical officer and general manager of the service, said customers should have the “agency to choose what works best for them.”
“Amazon Clinic is just one of the ways we’re working to empower people to take control of their health by providing access to convenient, affordable care in partnership with trusted providers,” he said.
To use Amazon Clinic, patients will select the condition they are seeking treatment for, then choose from a list of licensed providers. After completing a questionnaire, the patient will be connected to their clinician through a messaging portal. The clinician can then issue a treatment plan and send prescriptions to the pharmacy of the patient’s choice.
“Virtual care isn’t right for every problem — and if we think that may be the case, we will let you know upfront, before you connect with a provider,” Ayogu said. “Our goal is to make sure you get the care that’s right for you.”
The range of conditions clinicians will treat includes acne, allergies, acid reflux, erectile dysfunction and hair loss. They will also provide plans and prescriptions for birth control, not including intrauterine devices.
The blog post did not specify which of the 32 states will have Amazon Clinic services.
Amazon’s imprint in the world of healthcare already includes Amazon Pharmacy. It is also in the midst of a deal to acquire One Medical, a membership-based primary care practice, which also implements technology. The purchase of One Medical will cost an estimated $3.9 billion.
“Together with One Medical’s human-centered and technology-powered approach to healthcare, we believe we can and will help more people get better care, when and how they need it,” said Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services.
In August, Amazon announced the shutdown of Amazon Care, a telehealth pilot program that launched in 2019. The service will end on Dec. 31.