Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is launching its next health care venture.
Dubbed Amazon Clinic, it will be a “virtual health service that delivers convenient, affordable care for common conditions.”
There is a not a direct home-based care angle, other than that products and services will be offered to consumers at their homes. However, it could create a runway for further health care use cases inside the home.
Amazon Clinic will operate in 32 states and, specifically, provide virtual care for more than 20 common health conditions.
It is not as in-person focused or even health care-focused as the soon-to-be-shuttered Amazon Care. Amazon Care, a virtual and in-home care service, was first launched in 2019 to Amazon employees.
The plan was to roll it out nationwide to employees, and then to the general public. It was a part of coalitions, such as Moving Health Home, which suggested Amazon would be attempting to drive – and capitalize off of – more health care being delivered in the home in the future.
After Amazon announced its agreement to acquire the primary care provider One Medical (Nasdaq: ONEM) – which has around 200 medical offices and 800,000 members – the company decided to do away with Amazon Care by the end of this year. It’s unclear whether the two were directly tied to each other, but it could be that disrupting health care on its own was a harder feat than Amazon had once thought.
Amazon Clinic will be more focused on everyday health issues, such as acne, hair loss and allergies, but could be a seamless add-on to One Medical’s services.
“We know that sometimes you just need a quick interaction with a clinician for a common health concern that can be easily addressed virtually,” Dr. Nworah Ayogu, chief medical officer and general manager of Amazon Clinic, wrote in a post. “That’s why today we’re also introducing Amazon Clinic, a message-based virtual care service that connects customers with affordable virtual care options when and how they need it – at home, after dinner, at the grocery store, or on the go – for more than 20 common health conditions, such as allergies, acne and hair loss.”
For customers, the cost of consultations will vary by provider, according to the company. And Amazon Clinic does not yet accept insurance. If a prescription is a part of a treatment, customers can select any pharmacy to fill it, including Amazon Pharmacy, which is Amazon’s full-service online pharmacy.
The company stills says its mission is to make it “dramatically easier” for people to get and stay healthy. Amazon Pharmacy and Amazon Clinic, it believes, will be two ways to accomplish that.
In some ways, Amazon’s pivot from Amazon Care to Amazon Clinic bucks a digital health trend.
Many digital health players have prioritized growing via the B2B route. Mental health company Talkspace Inc. (Nasdaq: TALK) is a recent example, with executives recently touting the tremendous upside that B2B offers compared to a direct-to-consumer approach.
With major contracts reported with including Hilton, Silicon Labs and Precor, Amazon Care appeared to have solid B2B momentum. But now it’s hoping to reach consumers directly.