Amazon is making its first foray into providing health care services, announcing Wednesday that it will be offering its Amazon Care telemedicine programme to employers nationwide.
Currently available to the company’s employees in Washington state, Amazon Care is an app that connects users virtually with doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses who can provide services and treatment over the phone 24 hours a day. In the Seattle area, it’s supplemented with in-person services such as pharmacy delivery and house-call services from nurses who can take blood work and provide similar services.
On Wednesday, the tech giant announced it will immediately expand the service to interested employers in Washington who want to purchase the service for their employees. By the summer, Amazon Care will expand nationally to all Amazon workers, and to private employers across the country who want to join.
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In the Baltimore, Washington, DC, and northern Virginia market, where Amazon is building a second headquarters that will house more than 25,000 workers, Amazon Care will include the in-person services that are currently limited to Seattle.
“Making this available to other employers is a big step,” said Amazon Care Director Kristen Helton in a phone interview. “It’s an opportunity for other forward-thinking employers to offer a service that helps bring high-quality care, convenience and peace of mind.”
Amazon launched the service 18 months ago for its Washington state employees. Helton said users have given it superior reviews, and business customers were inquiring about being able to buy into the service for their own workers.