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Amazon Care is a new app-based health service for its employees

It offers "the best of both virtual an in-person care."
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Amazon has unveiled Amazon Care, a new health service that offers employees virtual consultations with in-home follow-ups. According to the website, the services include an "in-app video visit with a doctor, nurse practioner or registered nurse... for advice, answers, diagnosis, treatment or referrals." Amazon Care can also send a nurse to visit the patient if any follow-up is required.

Amazon Care will also prescribe medications within a few hours and deliver them to patients, or let them pick them up at designated pharmacies. According to CNBC, it's contracting with a company called Oasis Medical, possibly to ensure that it will stay at arm's length from its employees' confidential medical records.

Amazon Care eliminates travel and wait time, connecting employees and their family members to a physician or nurse practitioner through live chat or video, with the option for in-person follow up services from a registered nurse ranging from immunizations to instant strep throat detection.

"We're currently piloting a healthcare benefit designed to help Amazon employees get fast access to healthcare without an appointment, at the convenience of their schedules, at their preferred location (home, office, or virtual)," Amazon told CNBC in a statement. "Amazon Care eliminates travel and wait time, connecting employees and their family members to a physician or nurse practitioner through live chat or video, with the option for in-person follow up services from a registered nurse ranging from immunizations to instant strep throat detection."

Amazon is gradually entering the US healthcare sector that's worth as much as $3.5 trillion. Together with Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan, it recently created Haven in an effort to reduce employee health care costs.

Like Apple, Amazon has opened its own health clinics, but it seems most interested in telemedicine, touted as a way to bring down healthcare costs. The company often tests new services with employees, so the new app-based service could point to similar, future offerings for the general public.

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