Amazon employees are told they can get medical care on demand

Amazon has attracted several companies interested in using its telehealth service known as Amazon Care, company director Babak Parviz said on Wednesday.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from other companies using this service,” said Parviz, a vice president who works at Amazon Care, at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Health virtual event. Parviz added that Amazon plans to announce which companies have signed up to use the service later this summer.

Amazon Care was launched in 2019 as a pilot program for employees in and around the company’s Seattle headquarters. The service offers virtual urgent care visits, as well as free telemedicine consultations and home visits for a fee from nurses for tests and vaccinations.

Amazon announced in March that it would be expanding the virtual care portion of the program nationwide for its employees and other companies starting this summer. Initially, the additional personal services will only be offered in Washington state and metropolitan areas such as Baltimore and Washington, DC.

The company is working to make the full Amazon Care service available to other regions “as soon as possible,” said Parviz. Amazon intends to bring the service to rural areas in the future, he added.

To achieve this magnitude, Amazon will need to hire thousands of employees, Parviz said.

Amazon has long wanted to revolutionize the healthcare industry. In addition to Amazon Care, last fall the company launched Amazon Pharmacy, an online prescription service that built on its 2018 acquisition of PillPack, helping their families in a handful of cities.

Amazon also helped set up a joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan that aimed to improve health programs for employers. The company, named Haven, was wound up in early 2021 to show how difficult it can be to tackle challenges in American healthcare.

– CNBC’s Bertha Coombs contributed to this report.