Amazon won’t make patients wait.
The latest: Leveraging its $3.9B acquisition of One Medical, the tech giant is providing hyper-affordable 24/7 healthcare to Prime members.
For $99 per year, subscribers will receive unlimited virtual care for common health concerns, plus in-person visits for additional cost. The new service builds on Amazon Pharmacy, which offers refillable prescription medications for $5 per month.
Amazon’s jungle. The retailer’s trek into healthcare hasn’t been seamless.
- 2021: Haven Healthcare, a joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase, and Amazon, disbanded after only three years.
- 2022: Launched in 2019, employer-focused primary care business Amazon Care folded.
- 2023: The company scrapped its Halo wearable and laid off 80 pharmacy staff.
A bright spot, Amazon Clinic is scaling nationwide. Another telehealth service, Clinic differs from One Medical in that it connects consumers with third-party health providers rather than Amazon-employed physicians — and doesn’t take insurance.
What it means: Aiming to be one-stop shops, major retailers like Walmart, CVS, Dollar General, Walgreens, and Best Buy are also venturing into healthcare. But, there’s no clear path to delivering convenient, affordable, quality care at scale.
Punchline: Sensing frustration with the current system, Big Tech and retail envision alternative routes to fast, easy, effective healthcare. But, many are learning just how difficult the industry can be. And, with regulatory hurdles around every corner, change won’t happen overnight.