It’s never great to hear that a competitor with deep pockets and an army of engineers is pushing into your market, and this week Amazon gave companies in the employer telehealth space a lot to be nervous about.
After launching as an internal service in 2019, Amazon is now expanding its Amazon Care health offering to employers across the US amid “growing demand” for hybrid care.
Amazon Care’s hybrid model consists of two main elements:
- Telehealth-based primary care delivered by a dedicated Care Medical doctor
- Nurse practitioners dispatched to patient homes when medical needs can’t be resolved over video
Virtual services are now available nationwide to meet the needs of Amazon Care’s growing roster of employer clients, which now includes TrueBlue and Whole Foods Market (a fairly self-congratulatory announcement considering Amazon acquired the grocer in 2017).
In-person services are also expanding beyond the 8 existing locations (Seattle, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Austin, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Arlington), with Amazon planning to bring its nurse practitioner network to 20 additional cities by the end of the year, including San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, and New York City.
The telehealth landscape is crowded with companies promising to improve outcomes with video visits, but Amazon Care’s in-person component could prove to be its biggest differentiator.
The hybrid model allows Amazon to keep patients within its ecosystem when in-person care is needed, building off the logistical expertise of its retail business to coordinate at-home and virtual care. Amazon is aiming to make ordering healthcare as seamless as ordering any other product off of Amazon.com, a patient experience that the company could be uniquely positioned to pull off.