Technology

New job listings for Amazon’s internal telemedicine service, Amazon Care, hint at expansion

Amazon employees are told they can get health care on call

Amazon Care, the company’s online medical clinic for its own employees, is trying to hire half a dozen people in business development roles to “build and grow relationships with commercial and public sector enterprises.” Most of the roles were posted in the past month.

By building a business development team, the company is signaling an intention to go broader than its own employees. Amazon has a history of developing products that it tests out on its own workforce before expanding to a broader population.

Moreover, a person familiar with the business unit’s plans told CNBC that Amazon Care has started reaching out to health plans and employers in the Washington area to discuss opportunities to expand beyond its own employees. The plans are in an exploratory phase and may not result in expansion.

Amazon Care, which launched as a pilot in the fall of 2019, offers a virtual medical clinic for employees and their dependents in Washington state. The goal is to make it easier to access high-quality primary care online, and at-home visits are also available in some areas.

Amazon has increasingly moved into the medical sector in recent years. In 2018, it acquired PillPack, which offers at-home medication delivery, and has built a pharmacy team under that division. It also has a health and wellness unit focused on voice applications within its Alexa team. The company moved into the wearables market in August with a device known as Halo to track its users’ health and fitness.

Telemedicine represents a sizable market opportunity. It is expected to be worth more than $17 billion by 2026 as more people opt to engage with their doctors online. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated that shift, with the federal government relaxing regulations to make it easier for doctors to get paid for an online visit.

In September, Amazon Care announced that it had expanded its service from its headquarters in the Seattle area to all of its offices throughout Washington State.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.

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