The retail giant that offers nearly every item at your fingertips has just added another service—health care.
- Amazon Clinic will now be available to help connect customers with health-care professionals for needs ranging from acne solutions to hair loss.
- This is Amazon’s latest effort to branch into the health-care field. Already the company has its own pharmacy and is working to acquire 1Life Healthcare.
- The clinic is branded as a “virtual health storefront,” according to Amazon’s blog post. No partners in the venture have yet been announced.
- Amazon Clinic is not able to accept insurance and is available in 32 U.S. states.
Why it’s news
This latest venture into the field of health care will allow patients to select their condition, choose a provider, and fill out an intake questionnaire online. Patients are then connected to a health care provider through Amazon Clinic’s portal.
The initiative marks another attempt for the company to break into the health-care field. Earlier this year, Amazon attempted to purchase Signify Health, a home health services company. Though that attempt was unsuccessful, Amazon appears undeterred.
Amazon previously launched Amazon Care, a way for the company to provide health care services itself, but the initiative appears to be unsuccessful as Amazon is phasing out the project.
Backing up a bit
Amazon’s attempts to enter health care haven’t gone unnoticed by government officials. The company’s growing reach into a variety of fields has antitrust regulators watching closely.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began investigating Amazon’s $1.7-billion deal to acquire iRobot in September, the latest in growing scrutiny of the company’s expanding reach.
Both iRobot and Amazon have received FTC requests for further information related to the recent merger.
This is the second instance of an FTC review of an Amazon deal in recent months. The FTC is reviewing Amazon’s attempt to buy One Medical, a primary health care company.
Amazon and iRobot have said that they will cooperate fully with the investigation, though the FTC review will postpone the completion of Amazon and iRobot’s deal.