How Amazon Expanded Its Healthcare Aspirations in 2021

In 2021, Amazon expanded its healthcare aspirations with Alexa, Amazon Care, COVID-19 tests and more

Image: Piotr Cichosz, Unsplash

The healthcare industry is currently experiencing seismic shifts with much of the focus being placed on COVID-19 clinical, operational, and financial efforts. In 2021, E-Commerce giant Amazon expanded its healthcare aspirations with Alexa, Amazon Care, COVID-19 tests and more.

Amazon Care

Amazon first introduced its healthcare clinics to its employees in early 2019 after providing them with virtual care services. Its virtual care app, Amazon Care, lets people connect with physicians online through messages and video, with an option for an in-person visit from a nurse for exams, tests, and vaccines.

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Currently, Amazon in 2022 will add 16 additional cities including Atlanta; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis; Nashville, Tennessee; New York; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; San Francisco; San Jose, California; and St. Louis.

The healthcare industry is currently experiencing seismic shifts with much of the focus being placed on COVID-19 clinical, operational, and financial efforts. However, even in the setting of the pandemic, the healthcare industry is still faced with addressing a growing aging population, a widening workforce gap, and a proliferating volume of healthcare data.

Alexa Together

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is now making moves into health systems and elder care. In September, the company announced Alexa Together, a subscription service that allows caregivers to remotely monitor and assist aging family members in their homes. They receive alerts if their loved one hasn’t used Alexa by a certain time. Caregivers can also remotely set reminders or help their family members manage settings on their devices, reports MobiHealthNews.

Christian Wiediger, Unsplash

AWS Healthcare Accelerator

In a blog post, Sandy Carter, Vice President at AWS, announced the launch of the “Amazon Web Services (AWS) Healthcare Accelerator program,” which is “ a four-week technical, business, and mentorship accelerator opportunity open to U.S.-based healthcare startups or international healthcare startups that have existing U.S. operations.”

“The goal of the AWS Healthcare Accelerator is to cultivate and promote innovative startup solutions that achieve the Quadruple Aim of improved patient experience, improved clinician experience, better health outcomes, and lower cost of care. In seeking out compliant data-driven healthcare solutions, AWS will support public sector healthcare enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation,” said Carter.

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COVID-19 Test

In July, 2021, Amazon announced its at-home COVID-19 test kit is now available to U.S. customers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted an Emergency Use Authorization to the Amazon COVID-19 Test Collection Kit DTC earlier last year, paving the way for its broader use.

“Even as COVID-19 vaccinations continue, widespread access to reliable and affordable COVID-19 testing remains a critical tool in the fight against the spread of the virus,” said Amazon Vice President Cem Sibay in a statement.

Sam Draper
January 3, 2022

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