Technology

Amazon Clinic launches ahead of reported mass layoffs

Amazon has launched Amazon Clinic, a virtual healthcare provider that will allow users to get online help and order medication for “more than 20 health conditions.”

These conditions include allergies, acne, and hair loss, Amazon said in a press release, and the service is initially available in 32 states in the U.S.

Amazon Clinic works as follows: Users first select their condition, then answer some questions about their symptoms and health history. Users may also be required to share photos of their symptoms via smartphone camera or webcam, and provide a photo ID. After that, a licensed clinician will review that data and send users a message with a personalized treatment plan.

In an FAQ for the new service, Amazon says it has stringent customer privacy policies in place, and is in compliance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) as well as “other applicable laws and regulations.”

Amazon Clinic

Amazon Clinic is initially available in 32 U.S. states and can help users treat more than 20 conditions.
Credit: Amazon

Pricing is set by providers, Amazon said, but users will be informed about the cost of service up-front. Health insurance is not accepted through Amazon’s service, though the company says customers “may be able to use their insurance for any prescription medication costs that result from their Amazon Clinic visit.”

The new platform builds on Amazon Pharmacy, which offers a way for users to get medication delivered to their door, as well as Amazon’s acquisition of primary care provider One Medical for $3.9 billion earlier this year.

The news comes hours after a New York Times report that Amazon is about to lay off roughly 10,000 employees. The cuts will reportedly affect employees in Amazon’s retail devision, human resources, and team working on Alexa and Amazon’s devices.

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