Amazon expands its telehealth service nationwide

Amazon’s telehealth program, Amazon Care, is now available nationwide, the company announced on Tuesday. Amazon Care offers both virtual care and in-person services. The Amazon Care model combines on-demand and in-person care and is meant as a solution from the search giant to address shortfalls in current offerings for healthcare.

The company also announced that the in-person services are rolling out in more than 20 new cities this year. Amazon says the expansion comes as it’s continuing to invest in growing its clinical care team and its in-person care services. The in-person service is already available in Seattle, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Austin, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Arlington. In 2022, Amazon plans to bring in-person care services to major metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, New York City and more.

Amazon Care first launched in 2019 in Seattle as a pilot program for Amazon employees. In March 2021, Amazon made the service available to other companies across the United States. Amazon notes that numerous notable companies, including Whole Foods and Silicon Labs, currently offer Amazon Care to their employees.

The service offers urgent and primary care services, including COVID-19 and flu testing, vaccinations, treatment of illnesses and injuries, preventive care, sexual health and prescription requests and refills. When concerns can’t be resolved virtually, Amazon Care dispatches a nurse practitioner to a patient’s home for additional care, ranging from routine blood draws or listening to a patient’s lungs.

“Patients are tired of a health care system that doesn’t put them first. Our patient-centric service is changing that, one visit at a time,” said Kristen Helton, the director of Amazon Care, in a statement. “We’ve brought our on-demand urgent and primary care services to patients nationwide. As we grow the service, we’ll continue to work with our customers to address their needs.”

Amazon has been investing in healthcare over the past few years. In 2018, the company acquired PillPack, an online pharmacy that lets users buy medications in pre-made doses. In 2020, Amazon launched Amazon Pharmacy, its online and mobile prescription medication ordering and fulfillment service. More recently, Amazon rolled out new solutions for healthcare providers and senior living centers. The solutions, which are a part of Alexa Smart Properties, are designed specifically to meet the needs of deploying Alexa devices at scale and will allow the facility’s administrators to create customized experiences for their residents or patients.