Amazon's employee virtual health clinic includes prescription med service

Amazon healthcare Alexa Haven

Amazon has launched a virtual health clinic for its employees in Seattle, called Amazon Care, which includes a prescription medicine service.

The tech giant had been working on a health clinic for employees in the city since last year, when it hired a top Seattle doctor to run the network of health clinics.

Amazon announced the initiative on a dedicated website, Amazon Care, which said the benefit is “being piloted for Amazon employees and their families in the Seattle area”.

The app provide users with access to health professionals over video chat and text, as the company seeks to cut internal healthcare costs.

Amazon has partnered with Oasis Medical Group, based in Washington State, to provide the telemedicine service, reported CNBC, which first broke the news.

Using the app employees can text a nurse on any health topic in minutes, and if an employee needs follow-up care, Amazon can arrange for a home visit from a nurse.

Amazon can also prescribe medications through Amazon Care within a few hours, although employees also have the option to pick them up at a preferred pharmacy.

The new service follows Amazon’s partnership with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to explore how to cut healthcare expenses, but maintain service quality, for the three organisations’ 1.2 million employees.

Amazon has also acquired a pharmacy company, PillPack, midway through last year, and has an R&D group sometimes referred to as Grand Challenge or 1492.

As previously reported by pharmaphorum, Amazon has also been working on finding healthcare applications for its smart-speaker, Alexa.

This year Alexa gained the ability to transmit and receive health information in line with data privacy and security standards laid out in the US Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Certain users can ask Alexa when their prescription delivery will arrive, schedule a doctor’s appointment, and even check their last blood sugar reading.