The e-retailer launched the service, called Amazon Clinic, last November, touting it as a virtual platform for users to connect with health-care providers to treat common conditions like sinus infections, acne, and migraines. Users select their condition, choose a provider, then answer a brief questionnaire. Depending on where they live, users can choose to connect with a clinician over video or text message.
Amazon does not provide the telemedicine services itself, but instead provides Amazon Clinic as a platform to connect telemedicine partners with patients. Current partners include Curai Health, Hello Alpha, SteadyMD and Wheel.
Shares of Teladoc, a provider of virtual doctor visits, fell more than 3% on Amazon’s news.
With Tuesday’s announcement, users in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., can access Amazon Clinic via video visits. Due to regulatory issues, message-based chat on Amazon Clinic is only available in 34 states.
Nworah Ayogu, the chief medical officer and general manager of Amazon Clinic, told CNBC in an interview that the company vets the quality of each provider and their internal operations to determine “they have stood up as a provider group.” The e-commerce giant also makes sure the provider groups are staffed across all 50 states “to be able to deliver care in a timely response,” Ayogu added.
Amazon Clinic doesn’t yet accept insurance, but consumers can use insurance to help pay for medications prescribed through the service. Prescriptions can be filled at any pharmacy, including Amazon’s own online pharmacy, which handles fulfillment and delivery.
The company declined to discuss how many users have signed up to use Amazon Clinic.
Amazon has tried for years to crack the health-care industry with mixed success. The company launched its own online pharmacy in 2020, born out of its acquisition of PillPack in 2018. Amazon introduced, then shuttered, a telehealth service called Amazon Care, and closed its $3.9 billion acquisition of health-care provider OneMedical earlier this year. It also teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan to launch an incubator to improve employer health programs in 2018, then shut it down three years later.