The news: As we predicted, Amazon launched Amazon Clinic, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) telehealth clinic, equipped to treat common ailments like acne, dandruff, and hypertension.
How Amazon Clinic works: It’s a message-based service available to adults ages 18 to 64 who live in one of the 32 states the clinic can operate in. More states will be added in the future, Amazon promises.
But: A lot of services aren’t included, such as ordering lab tests or other diagnostic procedures. Clinicians won’t switch a patient’s prescription medication or change the dosage for patients with more serious conditions like hypothyroidism and high blood pressure.
The challenge: Although Amazon has a massive consumer base, other D2C providers like Hims & Hers, Thirty Madison, and Ro already offer telehealth visits, personalized treatment plans, and prescriptions for many of the same conditions Amazon Clinic covers.
Our take: Amazon’s approach to healthcare has been to either build (i.e., Amazon Care) or buy (PillPack, One Medical) services. It also isn’t afraid to change course, as it did abruptly in August when it announced Amazon Care’s closure.
With Amazon Clinic, we expect more services and features will be added, like video visits and diagnostic tests, if consumer uptake is healthy. Amazon could even roll out its own line of diagnostic tests, either from its moonshot lab known as Grand Challenge or from a white-label company like Imaware or ixlayer.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Digital Health Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the healthcare industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.
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