Launch of the Amazon Clinic comes before reported big layoffs
Amazon has recently launched Amazon Clinic, a virtual healthcare provider that allows users to get online help and order medicine for over 20 diseases. Such conditions include allergies, acne and hair loss. In a recent press release, Amazon mentioned that their service will first be available in 32 states.
Unlike Amazon Pharmacy, the service will not work with insurance companies at the start. The renowned Insurance company Florida Blue announced Amazon Pharmacy as its exclusive drug market supplier. Particularly, Amazon Pharmacy competes directly with billionaire investor Mark Cuban's Kost Plus Drug Company.
Amazon service providers set the price of treatment but users will be notified in advance of the cost of the service. Health insurance is not accepted through Amazon's service, although the company says customers can use their insurance to cover the costs of prescription drugs incurred during a visit to an Amazon clinic.
What does Amazon Clinic treat?
Amazon Clinic offers telehealth virtual treatment for more than 20 common ailments. These include skin problems such as acne, rosacea and eczema, as well as urinary tract, yeast infections and erectile dysfunction. The cost of treatment varies from state to state.
The return to the virtual health market comes amidst the massive layoffs of Staffs from Amazon. Reports have it that the company plans to lay off approximately 10,000 workers. The current layoffs are the largest in the company's history and primarily affect technology workers.
Interestingly, If Amazon were to cut the reported number of staffs, it would cut its workforce by just under 1%.
How does Amazon Clinic work?
Patient/Users have to first register with the clinic and select their condition and then answer a few questions about their symptoms and health history. Users would be required to upload photos of their symptoms using a smartphone camera or webcam and provide a photo ID. A licensed physician would then review the information and sends the patient a message with a personalised treatment plan.
This is happens to be the second venture of Amazon's into healthcare. The e-commerce giant launched Amazon Care in February, shortly after they announced the acquisition of One Medical and later announced that the service would be shut down at the end of the year. However, One Medical does not only offer virtual treatment. The company has physical offices across the United States.
Amazon Care offered services only to companies that signed up, including Hilton, Silicon Labs and TrueBlue. They just recently announced virtual clinic is expanding its focus to the public market.
Amazon does not know if they plan to launch regular treatments in addition to the virtual services already established. Additionally, One Medical and Amazon Clinic will remain separate services. However, this could easily change once the e-commerce company completes the purchase of the telehealth provider.