The company Amazon is now providing virtual healthcare services across the United States. In addition, they plan to deliver health services at physical locations in 20 cities by the end of 2022.
A Gradually Expansion:
Amazon is better known for online shopping, yet the e-commerce giant has been slowly positing itself as a new healthcare company for many years. However, many other successful tech giants have also pushed into the field of healthcare.
Many technology companies see an opportunity to disrupt and reshape the healthcare delivery model. Amazon has already accomplished this in the retail industry. But, can they do the same with the healthcare industry? The company has stated that Amazon care is “uniquely positioned to fill a critical gap in the health care system because it combines the best of virtual care with a new approach to in-person care.”
Amazon already has experience at solving problems with internet and data security. The company is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for newer technology-based medical specialties such as clinic informatics. But, creating value by delivering quality healthcare to patients while maintaining cost, is not an easy task.
Amazon Care started in 2019 and was only available to employees at the company’s Seattle location. Since this time, Amazon has expanded these services. Part of this growth is assisted by the incorporating other company’s employees such as Whole Foods Market, Silicon Labs and TrueBlue.
By the end of 2022, Amazon Care plans to have locations in most major cities including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. They are providing both urgent and primary care services as well as nationwide telehealth treatments.
Transforming Health Care:
Amazon care will face some stiff competition. Many larger non-healthcare companies like Google, Facebook and Apple have all tried to push into healthcare, which is now one of the largest industries in the nation. These highly successful tech companies are attempting to replicate this same success in the field of healthcare.
Even the largest private employer in the U.S., which is Walmart; is expanding into health and medical services. Similar to the Amazon service model, Walmart has a limited number of in-person treatment clinics which they hope to expand across the United States.
As to whether these companies will find success and change how health care is delivered, is still not clear. Amazon transformed the retail sector and permanently changed how people shop for items. Many other retail giants had to change their operating procedures or perish. It is still too early to tell if Amazon will have the same impact on the American healthcare system.
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