Amazon pilots virtual healthcare service for US employees 


Online retailer and technology organisation Amazon is piloting a virtual healthcare service, Amazon Care, for its US employees, with a view to ultimately making it available to all 650,000 employees enrolled in an Amazon health insurance plan.

The primary care service, which is currently being tested by a group of Seattle-based employees and their families, offers a virtual healthcare service, in-person visits and a prescription service. If successful, the organisation will expand the service to other locations.

The service will be made available to all employees in the covered service areas aged 18 and above and enrolled in an Amazon health insurance plan, as well as their dependants.

Employees can use the new benefit to consult the medical professionals about minor illnesses such as colds, allergies, infections and minor injuries, as well as having access to preventative health consultations, vaccines, lab work and sexual health services.

Amazon employees have three options for accessing the service. They can be connected to a nurse via an app-based text chat service and seek general advice, but for more extensive advice, diagnosis, treatment or even a referral, they can use the in-app video service, which will connect them directly with a doctor or nurse. There is also the option for a personal consultation with a nurse who can visit the employees home or office. 

Employees can also take advantage of the prescription courier service and have their medication delivered direct to their home or office.

The new initiative has been communicated to staff via a page on the organisation’s website, which details eligibility, information on the services available, hours of operation and frequently asked questions. In addition, the site provides testimonials from staff using the service already, and personalised introductions to a number of the medical professionals employed by Oasis Medical, which provides the virtual and in-person care services.

An Amazon spokesperson, said: “Amazon is currently piloting a healthcare benefit designed to help Amazon employees get fast access to healthcare without an appointment, at the convenience of their schedules, at their preferred location, home, office, or virtual.

“Amazon Care eliminates travel and wait time, connecting employees and their family members to a physician or nurse practitioner through live chat or video, with the option for in-person follow up services from a registered nurse, ranging from immunisations to instant strep throat detection.”