Amazon launches pilot of virtual employee medical service Amazon Care

Amazon is piloting a new virtual health service benefit for employees and their families in the Seattle region. 

Calling it Amazon Care, the tech giant said the service combines "the best of both virtual and in-person care" by offering virtual visits, in-person primary care visits at patients' homes or offices and prescription delivery. 

Officials said Amazon Care provides a mobile application to allow employees to access virtual and in-person healthcare services from its partner, Washington-based Oasis Medical Group P.C. 

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Officials said Amazon Care will be able to help with urgent issues like colds, allergies, infections, minor injuries, preventative health consults, vaccines, lab work, sexual health services like contraception and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and general health questions. 

The launch of the new service comes just a year after news broke that Amazon planned to open primary care clinics at its Seattle headquarters. The technology company is in discussions to open clinics, hiring a small number of doctors for a limited group of employees by the end of this year. They have plans to expand in early 2019, the network reported.

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Amazon employees and their families will be eligible to enroll if they are older than 18 years old, enrolled in an Amazon health insurance plan (excluding a Kaiser Permanente plan) and live and work in current service locations in the Seattle area. 

Amazon has been rapidly expanding its reach in the healthcare space, most notably in 2018 with its acquisition of online pharmacy PillPack. The tech company also sparked rampant speculation when it teamed up with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway on healthcare venture they've dubbed Haven

Earlier this year, Amazon began partnering with numerous healthcare companies, including several in California as well as the U.K.'s National Health Service, to let consumers and employees use Alexa for healthcare purposes. Recently, it has reportedly been making efforts to create "fitness tracking" earbuds that will be able to track measurements such as distance run, calories burned and pace of running.