Boost for Amazon’s telehealth business, as Hilton signs up

Amazon’s push into the provision of remote healthcare services has been rewarded with a top-tier corporate client – the Hilton hotel chain.

The deal – first reported by Reuters – involves the Amazon Care platform, which includes remote, online consultations with clinicians, as well as home visits in some areas. It provides primary and preventive care, ongoing support for chronic conditions, and referrals to secondary and tertiary care.

Amazon can also offer prescription medicine delivery services within a few hours through its recently-launched Amazon Pharmacy service, kicked off with its acquisition of PillPack in 2018.

The online retail giant first started offering the telemedicine service to some of its own employees in 2019, setting it up in collaboration with Oasis Medical Group, but in March this year announced its intention to offer it to all US employees as well as other companies.

The launch of Amazon Care is bringing the company closer to a true ‘end-to-end’ healthcare model, similar to turnkey solutions offered by the likes of Hims, Ro and others.

Meanwhile, Amazon is running a biotech-like digital health accelerator to identify startups with promising new technologies that could be layered into its healthcare portfolio. It is also entering the health wearables market with its own Halo device, and bolstering the health-related capabilities of its Alexa virtual assistant.

Reuter said the financial details of the agreement with Hilton Worldwide Holdings have not been disclosed, but is the e-commerce giant’s first hospitality customer and only its second disclosed client after Washington-based fitness equipment company Precor, now part of Peloton.

It will be offered to Hilton employees across the US from next year, according to the report. Hilton employs around 141,000 people worldwide.

Amazon’s push into telemedicine has not been without its setbacks however. In 2018 it formed a partnership with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to explore how to cut healthcare expenses, but maintain service quality, for the three organisations 1.2 million employees, but brought that to a close earlier this year.

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