The world of healthcare has changed dramatically over the past 3 years with a dramatic increase in ‘virtual’ appointments. Most providers (in the UK) have adopted a hybrid model of tele-health and in person treatments. During this period some of the worlds largest companies have continued to invest in and expand their operations in the healthcare sector. One of those companies is Amazon.
They have just launched Amazon Care in the US. Utilising their vast company infrastructure they seem to be well placed to provide medical care with the same ease that we all use Amazon prime for shopping. The concept was been trialled initially as a pilot program for Amazon employees in Washington State which was then expanded to the whole US.
Initially the offering will be focused on virtual care with in-person services launched in 20+ cities in 2022. Not surprisingly users can access the services via an App and they will be able to book 24 hours a day all year round. This will save an enormous amount of time and also be completely flexible to fit around an individual’s circumstances.
Any prescriptions will be handled by the app and will be delivered direct to the patients home. If an issue is unable to be addressed via a virtual appointment a healthcare professional will visit the home or they will use one of the physical locations.
It will be very interesting to see how successful this service becomes. I instantly feel that Amazon can deliver quickly with little fuss, as is my experience with Amazon shopping. The big test will be the lack of physical locations. This is in two parts; one is treatment that can only be done in person but the other is the feeling of security that people get when ‘seeing’ a Doctor face to face.
It’s a big move for the market and with the adoption and advancement in technology we are sure to see things move very quickly. The big retailers also have a foot in the market and they have the advantage of a huge network of physical stores where they can house ‘in-person’ services. With these big players in the market along with the use of technology it will be very interesting to see what healthcare services look like in 12-18 months!