Amazon declares new virtual healthcare service to assist with allergies, acne and hair loss

November 17, 2022 : Amazon is growing its healthcare offerings following its agreement to buy One Medical by opening a new virtual care opportunity to help with common conditions like acne, allergies, and hair loss.

Amazon Clinic, revealed on Tuesday, will permit patients in 32 states to message clinicians via a secure portal to seek personalized medicines and prescriptions for common conditions. Patients can pursue birth control options and care for urinary tract ailments, dandruff, migraines, and more.

The service does not yet receive insurance, but customers can use insurance to assist pay for medications prescribed by a licensed clinician via the platform. The company told those prescriptions may be served by any pharmacy but stated that Amazon Pharmacy would also be an opportunity.

To utilize the service, customers select the condition they’re interested in talking about and then choose a preferred provider. After completing a questionnaire, they will connect with a clinician in a safe messaging portal to reply at the customer’s convenience. Amazon said if a situation isn’t suitable to be treated through the assistance, it will let customers know before connecting with a care provider.

Two weeks of follow-up messages are welcomed with the initial consultation cost, which Amazon stated in “numerou cases” would be equal to or less than the expense of the moderate copay. Clients can also use money from flexible and healthcare spending accounts to spend for the service.

The unique program comes just some months after Amazon announced it was closing down Amazon Care, a different telehealth assistance, by the end of the year. That program established in 2019 as a pilot for workers, provided virtual urgent care, and delivered in-home visits from nurses for a payment to perform testing and vaccinations.

In an email informing the shutdown, Amazon Health Services lead Neil Lindsay stated that Amazon Care was “not a complete enough offering for the big enterprise customers we have been targeting, and was not going to work long-term.”

Amazon’s healthcare experiences have raised concern among some regulators and legislators about how it will use and protect sensitive information. The company stated in its Amazon Clinic announcement that it has “stringent consumer privacy policies and concede with HIPAA and all other applicable laws and regulations.”