Amazon.com is continuing to make waves in the healthcare market, as CNBC revealed Tuesday that the company is now offering virtual healthcare as a pilot project to its employees.
Employees in Seattle as well as their families now have access to something called “Amazon Care.” If those people have an Amazon health insurance plan and work in the correct service location, they can avail themselves of the app. They also need to join up using either an iOS 12.0 model phone or later iPhone iteration, or a phone with Android 6 or later.
Once that’s done, an employee feeling under the weather can start chatting with a medical professional on any health topic they want. If they so choose, a video call can be set up with a nurse or doctor and a diagnosis or other advice will be proffered. Amazon is doing this in conjunction the Oasis Medical Group, which will provide the services.
If needed, a nurse can be dispatched to the house of the person to start treatment, offer more advice, or take some tests. Amazon will also provide a courier to deliver medicine if it’s needed, which should arrive in as little as two hours.
This will not be around-the-clock care, however, with professionals on call from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 6 a.m. on weekends. It also cannot be used for emergencies.
“I had been planning to go to urgent care after work when I remembered I had the Amazon Care app,” one of the first customers said in a testimonial. “What an incredible experience. I didn’t have to leave work, didn’t have to take time away from my family to go to the doctor, didn’t even have to go to the drugstore.”
Amazon hopes to roll out Amazon Care to its employees in other cities, but at the moment there is no mention of it coming to the general public.
“Amazon Care eliminates travel and wait time, connecting employees and their family members to a physician or nurse practitioner through live chat or video, with the option for in-person follow up services from a registered nurse ranging from immunizations to instant strep throat detection,” the company said in a statement.
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