This week Amazon launched Amazon Care, an app-based healthcare service for current employees and their families in the Seattle area. As of Tuesday, individuals over 18 that are enrolled in an Amazon-sponsored health plan are able to request an invitation to Amazon Care.
The application, through a partnership with Washington-based Oasis Medical Group, P.C., connects users with an affiliated doctor, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse. The name and license of the clinician is displayed in-app at the beginning of every interaction. Users can choose to hold their consultation via the Care Chat messaging platform or via a Video Care video call. Once connected, the assigned medical professional is available to diagnose the user, advise them on a treatment plan, or provide a referral. If adequate care is unable to be given, the clinician can also help identify next steps. Amazon Care keeps a record of this information and generates an invoice as well as a care summary.
In addition to the Care Chat and Video Care services, Amazon Care can also dispatch Mobile Care nurses for follow-up visits at preferred locations, like the home or office. Mobile Care nurses are equipped to provide on-site testing, physical exams, and vaccinations. They can also collect samples and perform other medical services that require an in-person visit. These visits can also be held in rooms on the Amazon campus or other locations within the designated operating area.
A third component to Amazon Care is their Care Courier service, which provides prescription drug delivery. This service allows users to receive their prescriptions within a projected window of two hours. Otherwise, prescriptions can be picked-up at a preferred pharmacy. Both Care Couriers as well as Mobile Care nurses wear Amazon Care uniforms and can be identified by an Oasis Medical badge.
The combination of these services allows Amazon Care to function much like a general practitioner, providing basic care. In its current model, the app is only able to handle acute urgent care needs, such as colds, infections, and minor injuries. This scope of care extends to preventative consultations, lab work, contraceptives, and STI testing. Clinicians can also advise on sexual health and travel health in addition to answering any general medical questions. Emergency services are not provided.
This virtual format and focus on telemedicine allow for diagnosis and treatment plans to be communicated efficiently, cutting down on waiting time and travel as well as creating access to healthcare. However at this time, Amazon Care is restricted to a set window of operation. It’s services are only available between 8 AM and 9 PM PDT from Monday through Friday and between 8 AM and 6 PM PDT on Saturday and Sunday.
A further restriction is employees must live and work in the pilot geographical area to be considered eligible. The app uses location-aware technology to determine whether users are within the area of service. For individuals that meet these requirements, enrollment is possible throughout the year. For eligible zip codes and compatible mobile devices, consult the Amazon Care website.