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Amazon acquires another healthcare start-up for its Amazon Care program

Health Navigator helps companies route patients to the right place.
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Amazon is expanding its push into the healthcare industry. After purchasing online pharmacy PillPack last year, the company has now acquired Health Navigator, a start-up that provides online symptom checking and triage tools to help companies direct patients to the right facilities.

At this stage, however, the service is intended only for Amazon's own employees, and joins pilot program Amazon Care, which acts as a medical benefit for staff. If employees are unwell they can use the service to access virtual care through a video consultation, or obtain a home visit if necessary. PillPack, which provides prescription delivery, also falls under the Amazon Care umbrella.

With around a dozen employees, Health Navigator is considerably smaller than PillPack, for which Amazon paid $753 million last year. The exact details of the new acquisition haven't yet been disclosed, although CNBC reports that Health Navigator does not plan on renewing its contracts with existing customers.

Although the move is primarily focused on internal benefits right now, it does provide another hint as to Amazon's longer-term, more commercial aspirations within the healthcare field. Last year the company announced a partnership with Warren Buffet and JPMorgan Chase that aims to create healthcare solutions that benefit "potentially all Americans." The acquisition of Health Navigator is likely a stepping stone in achieving that goal.

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