The ink is not yet dry on Amazon's acquisition of OneMedical, but in the meantime, the online services giant is making one more move into telehealth, and into medical services overall. Amazon Clinic is a virtual health storefront where users can search for, connect with, and pay for telehealth care, addressing variety of conditions that are some of the more popular for telehealth consultations today.
In the U.S., Amazon Clinic is opening in 32 states. It doesn't work with health insurance, and pricing will vary depending on providers, conditions, and location. You can get a choice of two providers with different offers if you connect with a clinic in Nevada. There is a wide price gap between the two providers for pink eye in New Jersey.
A week ago, users spotted a video on YouTube that was quickly removed as media picked up on the attention. It is launching at a critical time.
It has only been a few months since Amazon shut down Amazon Care, a service that it created for its own employees and which was going to be used by third-party companies. The company is feeling the pinch of the economy. It is said to be preparing to make a big round of layoffs, possibly 10,000 jobs, and it has also been downsizing and cutting operations.
Amazon Clinic is about the company taking another pass at the healthcare market, and positioning itself as a player in what is a constant problem in the U.S.: how to bridge the gap between people needing medical help for ailments that are more complicated that a trip to the drug store, but
Other conditions that will be covered include asthma, birth control, cold sores, dandruff, hayfever, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and men's health issues.
The clinic is very similar to the Amazon. It's a marketplace where third parties can leverage Amazon's platform and reach to find customers and Amazon can leverage third parties to quickly scale what offers to its consumers It helps Amazon extend the business funnel for other Amazon operations, in this case Amazon Pharmacy, which can fulfill any prescriptions that come out of Clinic consultations, and has not been as big of a boom in business as expected Users can fill Amazon Clinic script in other drugstores as well.
We asked Amazon if it plans to provide its own in-house (private label), if there are international ambitions, and if it will accept health insurance for Clinic in the state. It's possible that this is laying the groundwork for Amazon to link up what it's doing here with One Medical when that acquisition closes.
The bigger picture for Amazon Clinic is that it will fit in with Amazon's larger ambitions in healthcare. Users can buy additional over-the-counter drugs via Prime memberships and have them shipped within two days.
There is a gap in the market for providing users with health consultations for more minor ailments, according to Amazon. Some situations need more direct physician involvement, which can be covered with One Medical or one's existing healthcare coverage, and some situations can be addressed by visiting a pharmacy on one's own steam.
Sometimes you just need a quick interaction with a clinician for a common health concern that can be easily addressed virtually, and that's why we've created this service.
For a long time, Amazon has laid out its ambitions in healthcare. The acquisition of PillPack led to the launch of Amazon Pharmacy. It has been looking at healthcare as an enterprise opportunity with integrations of Amazon's voice assistant.
There are other steps back it has taken in its journey. A high-profile doctor was appointed as the leader of the employee healthcare operation that it formed a joint venture with JP Morgan. The service didn't take shape as expected and will close in 2021.
This piece will be updated as we learn more.