KEY POINTS
  • Amazon Care is now available to Seattle-based workers and their dependents. 
  • Amazon acknowledged Amazon Care in September, noting that it was setting up virtual clinics for its employees to receive convenient medical care 24/7. 
  • Amazon is working on a variety of health initiatives, including pharmacy care, pharmacy and voice technology. 
Amazon Care is a pilot medical clinic for employees.

Amazon Care, the company's virtual health clinic, is now live for its Seattle employees.

The virtual medical service is available as of Tuesday to Amazon employees and their dependents working out of its corporate headquarters, the company confirmed, and the service is now live via the employee benefits portal. Representatives are spread out across campus to let employees know about the benefit.

The app provides virtual medical consultations, as well as a way to schedule a follow-up visit from a health professional to a patient's home or office. It also has a way to deliver prescriptions to the patient's home, according to the group's website.

Any employee in a Zip code covered by Amazon Care can download the app and use it.

"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," the spokesperson said. The company did not say if it plans to expand beyond Seattle to its other offices in the coming months.

CNBC previously reported that Amazon was working on an employee health clinic, and that the plans kicked off in the summer of 2018 with a few hires, including a top Seattle doctor who ran a network of health clinics.

Although the service is just for Amazon employees in Seattle today, if it succeeds in improving employee satisfaction and lowering costs, Amazon could theoretically offer it more broadly to other companies or directly to consumers.

Amazon has a number of open roles, including product managers and designers, for Amazon Care as it looks to expand the team. Its care providers, including the physicians and nurses, are technically employed by a separate subsidiary called Oasis Medical. That provision ensures that Amazon won't possess knowledge about its employees' health that it's not legally entitled to have.

Amazon isn't the only technology company to set up its own primary care clinics for its workers. Apple has its own clinics, called AC Wellness, which are intended to provide high-quality care to employees working out of its California headquarters.

Amazon Care is just one part of Amazon's overall health care strategy. As an employer, it is working with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway on an effort called Haven to reduce costs and bolster the quality of care for the companies' combined 1.2 million workers. The company is also working on health initiatives within its cloud group, where it has focused on voice technology and machine learning tools; the Alexa voice assistant team; and its pharmacy division, PillPack, which the company acquired in 2018.