Amazon on Tuesday launched Amazon clinic, a virtual platform where users can connect with healthcare providers to help treat common ailments like allergies and skin conditions. The company has for years sought to expand its presence in healthcare. It bought online pharmacy PillPack in 2018, underpinning a prescription delivery and price-comparison site it later launched as Amazon Pharmacy, which lets users buy over-the-counter drugs via Prime memberships.
The e-commerce giant said its new service would operate in 32 states, where customers who seek treatment, will be connected to healthcare providers. The service does not include health insurance and pricing will vary depending on providers, it added.
The online retailer first piloted virtual care visits for its own staff in Seattle in 2019 before offering services to other employers under the Amazon Care brand, which it now plans to close down by the end of this year.
The company is also waiting to close its $3.49 billion (roughly Rs. 28,200 crore) deal to buy One Medical, as it seeks to expand its virtual healthcare presence and add brick-and-mortar doctors’ offices for the first time.
Shares in Amazon were up about 1 percent in trading before the bell.
Reuters reported on Monday that Amazon is planning to lay off around 10,000 employees in corporate and technology roles beginning this week, citing a person familiar with the matter, in what would amount to its biggest such reduction to date. The cuts, previously reported by the New York Times, would represent about 3 percent of Amazon’s corporate staff. The exact number may vary as businesses within Amazon review their priorities, the source told Reuters.
The online retailer plans to eliminate jobs in its devices organization, which makes voice-controlled “Alexa” gadgets and home-security cameras, as well as in its human-resources and retail divisions, the person said. Amazon’s time frame for informing staff remains unclear.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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