Digital Health

Amazon Care is Coming to a City Near You

Amazon Care

Amazon is expanding its in-person medical care service to 20 cities by the end of next year, causing many digital primary care providers to begin wondering how much disruption is on the way.

  • What is Amazon Care? The service offers virtual primary care through an app, connecting users to physicians with messages and video in as little as 60 seconds. For in-person care, nurses are dispatched to patients’ homes for tests and treatment, as opposed to patients travelling to an office.

Amazon Care began as an employee-only health service for the company’s own workers, but recently opened up to other US-based employers.

In-person care was originally limited to Washington state, Washington DC, and Baltimore, but is now set to reach Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, and Boston in 2021 – at least according to “three people familiar with the plans” speaking to Business Insider.

  • Is Amazon Care coming to your city in 2022? Yes… as long as you live in Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, Tennessee, New York, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, San Jose, or St. Louis.

Although the expansion announcement might seem as innocuous as a young Jeffrey Bezos telling you he’s starting to sell books on the internet, Amazon’s success in industries ranging from e-commerce to cloud computing suggests that healthcare could be next.

The $3T US healthcare market is notoriously difficult to disrupt, and Amazon Care’s unique approach of sending clinicians to patient homes is an enormous logistical problem, but that might make the company behind 2-day free shipping the best one to solve it. 

Although Amazon’s recent healthcare ventures haven’t had an industry-altering impact, the company has a long history of experimenting, learning lessons from failures, and making a better product down the road. Amazon Care might be that product.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team