Amazon is making waves, again, but this time it appears they might be doing something that benefits the people who make it all happen. The tech giant has just launched a virtual health clinic—with in-home follow-up—for all Seattle employees. Of course, the program is called, fittingly, Amazon Care.
The company announced this program with a new website—Amazon.care—which is now fully open for public view. However, Amazon has not made a formal announcement about the launch outside of company personnel and media. The new website simply reads, “AmazonCare is a benefit being piloted for Amazon employees and their families in the Seattle area.”
According to the website the virtual health clinic offers an “in-app video visit with a doctor, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse … for advice, answers, diagnosis, treatment, or registered nurse.” Employees will also get an option to see a health provider through mobile app or through the website, even by texting a nurse on any health topic with replies in a matter of minutes. And then Amazon Care can also set up in-home nurse follow-up appointments.
It may come as a surprise but Amazon recently teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan to create a new health care company to address the needs of the workers at all three of these companies. The move has helped introduce internal health insurance in order to, specifically, combat the rising cost of health care in the United States.
While the website is available for public view it is important to remind that the program is only open to Amazon employees and eligible dependents who have been approved through an Amazon health plan and who live in the greater Seattle area. Those who tick all of these boxes can “request an invitation to join” the program. However, in order to use the app you must have an iPhone running iOS 12.0 (or later) or an Android phone running Android 6.0 (or later).
Once you sign up, you can chat directly with a clinician over text or video call and get advice—or even a diagnosis—on the fly. If necessary, though, the nurse or doctor on the chat might think a closer assessment is in order and they will recommend a program called Mobile Care, which will dispatch a nurse to your home (or office, or other location in Seattle).