After unveiling the telehealth service Amazon Care in September 2019, tech giant Amazon has rolled out the service to its employees in the Seattle area. This telehealth service provides virtual medical consultations, ease of scheduling a follow-up visit from a medical professional in a patient’s home or office, and lastly, rapid prescription delivery too.
By launching their healthcare service to employees, Amazon has moved one step ahead in its procedure of planning and carrying out a public rollout. The launch of Amazon’s telehealth service to its Seattle-based employees is the next possibility of a public rollout that might happen in near future. Amazon has made a series of plays after unveiling Amazon Care that hint at Amazon building out the virtual care service that could be have a public launch very soon.
In October 2019, Amazon acquired digital triage solutions provider Health Navigator. There was buzz about the possibility of Amazon integrating its technology into the Amazon Care platform to determine the best pathway of care for patients and cut down on costs for employees insured by Amazon. In January 2020, Amazon hired former pulmonary doctor and Apple consultant Vin Gupta as principal scientist to Amazon Care’s growing roster so that the latter would help Amazon strategize how to deliver better care to its workers. This developments show that plans of a public launch are indeed brewing at Amazon headquarters.
Should a public launch of Amazon Care happen, Amazon is likely to channel its Prime subscriber base and brand power to encourage adoption. This can threaten the small players in the telehealth space. With over 100 million Prime members and strong brand recognition, Amazon has a robust foundation and customer base in place. It can decide the date and time of Amazon Care whenever it wishes. The US telehealth market is worth $2.6 billion Amazon can easily slice a big chunk for itself.