Amazon Clinic provides digital healthcare for allergic reactions, zits, and extra

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony ahead of tomorrow’s opening night for the NHL’s newest ice hockey franchise, the Seattle Kraken, at the Climate Pledge Arena on October 22, 2021 in Seattle.

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Amazon expands its healthcare offering following the deal to purchase One Medical, this time by opening a new virtual care option to help with common conditions like allergies, acne and hair loss.

The Amazon Clinic, unveiled Tuesday, will allow patients in 32 states to contact doctors through a secure portal for personalized treatments and prescriptions for common conditions. Patients can look for birth control options and take care of UTIs, dandruff, migraines, and more.

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The service does not yet accept insurance, but customers can use insurance to pay for medications prescribed by a licensed doctor through the platform. The company said these prescriptions could be filled by any pharmacy, but added that Amazon Pharmacy would also be an option.

To use the service, customers select the disease they want to talk about and then select a preferred provider. After completing a questionnaire, they are connected to a clinician via a secure messaging portal to respond at the client’s convenience. Amazon said if a condition is not suitable for the service to address, customers will know before contacting a vendor.

Two weeks of follow-up messages are included in the cost of the initial consultation, which Amazon says in “many cases” would cost the same or less than an average co-payment. Customers can also use money from flexible spending accounts and healthcare spending accounts to pay for the service.

The new program comes just months after Amazon announced it would shut down Amazon Care, another telehealth service, by the end of the year. This program, which started as a pilot for employees in 2019, offered virtual emergency care and, for a fee, home visits by nurses to carry out tests and vaccinations.

Neil Lindsay, head of Amazon Health Services, said in an email announcing the closure that Amazon Care “wasn’t a complete offering for the large enterprise customers we were targeting and wouldn’t work long-term.”

Amazon’s healthcare companies have raised concerns from some regulators and lawmakers about how Amazon will use and protect sensitive information. The company said in its Amazon Clinic announcement that it “has strict privacy policies for customers and is compliant with HIPAA and all other applicable laws and regulations.”

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