Amazon is shutting down its telehealth service, Amazon Care, marking a significant retreat by the retail behemoth in its efforts to interrupt into the health care space.
Amazon will shutter the service after Dec. 31, Amazon Health Services lead Neil Lindsay announced Wednesday in an organization email. The e-commerce giant decided to make the move after determining it wasn’t “the best long-term solution for our enterprise customers,” Lindsay wrote within the memo, which was previously reported by GeekWire.
“This decision wasn’t made calmly and only became clear after many months of careful consideration,” Lindsay said. “Although our enrolled members have loved many elements of Amazon Care, it will not be a whole enough offering for the massive enterprise customers we have now been targeting, and wasn’t going to work long-term.”
Regardless that the service is ending, Amazon gained a deeper understanding of “what’s needed long-term to deliver meaningful health care solutions for enterprise and individual customers” through its rollout of Amazon Care, Lindsay wrote within the memo.
Amazon Care launched in 2019 as a pilot program for workers in and around the corporate’s Seattle headquarters. The service provides virtual urgent care visits, in addition to free telehealth consults and in-home visits for a fee from nurses for testing and vaccinations.
The service was several years within the making. In 2017, Amazon held a secret meeting in Seattle to learn more about patient care that was attended by heavyweights from the health care industry, CNBC reported. It then hired a small group of doctors to begin a pilot clinic for some employees.
In February, the corporate rolled out Amazon Care’s virtual offerings nationwide for its employees and other corporations, signaling it had greater ambitions for the service.
It’s unclear how much traction Amazon Care had gained. Last June, Babak Parviz, a vice chairman working on Amazon Care, said Amazon had attracted multiple corporations fascinated about using the service. Its corporate customers include Hilton, Silicon Labs, TrueBlue and Whole Foods, the company-owned upscale grocer.
Amazon is sunsetting the service at the same time as CEO Andy Jassy has committed to make inroads within the health care industry. Last month, Amazon acquired boutique primary care provider One Medical for $3.9 billion. It also has sought to develop at-home medical diagnostics. And earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon is bidding for home health services provider Signify Health.
Here’s the whole memo to employees:
Health Services team,
We’re working on a crucial, missionary opportunity. Our vision is to make it easier for people to access the health care services and products they should get and stay healthy. We all know accomplishing this would possibly not be easy or fast, but we imagine it matters.
One in every of the ways we have worked towards this vision for the past several years has been with our urgent and first care service offering, Amazon Care. During that point, we have gathered and listened to extensive feedback from our enterprise customers and their employees, and evolved the service to repeatedly improve the experience for purchasers. Nonetheless, despite these efforts, we have determined that Amazon Care is not the best long-term solution for our enterprise customers, and have decided that we’ll now not offer Amazon Care after December 31, 2022.
This decision wasn’t made calmly and only became clear after many months of careful consideration. Although our enrolled members have loved many elements of Amazon Care, it will not be a whole enough offering for the massive enterprise customers we have now been targeting, and wasn’t going to work long-term.
Our work constructing Amazon Care has deepened our understanding of what is needed long-term to deliver meaningful health care solutions for enterprise and individual customers. You have heard me say it before, but I feel the health care space is ripe for reinvention, and our efforts to assist improve the health care experience can have an immensely positive impact on our quality of life and health outcomes. Nonetheless, none of those reasons make this decision any easier for the teams which have helped to construct Amazon Care, or for the shoppers our Care team serves.
Our priority immediately is to support you, whatever the path you are taking. Many Care employees may have a possibility to hitch other parts of the Health Services organization or other teams at Amazon — which we’ll be discussing with a lot of you shortly — and we’ll also support employees in search of roles outside of the corporate.
To the Amazon Care and Care Medical teams, thanks for your whole exertions over these last several years. You need to be very happy with what this team has been in a position to accomplish in a brief time period. I’m also thankful to our members and business customers for entrusting us with their care; this will not be a responsibility we take calmly. As we take our learnings from Amazon Care, we’ll proceed to invent, learn from our customers and industry partners, and hold ourselves to the very best standards as we further help reimagine the longer term of health care.