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Amazon’s virtual health clinic can now treat patients for a cough, cold or flu

Amazon announced today that its virtual health care marketplace, Amazon Clinic, can now treat patients for a cough, cold or flu. Customers can now select the new “Cough, cold, and flu” option from the “Find a treatment” list on Amazon Clinic on desktop or mobile. From there, they can look at a list of available telehealth providers and compare pricing and response times.

Once users have completed an intake form that details their current symptoms and basic health history, they will be connected to a licensed clinician either through a secure messaging portal or a video call. The clinician will then provide treatment, which could include a prescription that can be filled by Amazon Pharmacy or another pharmacy.

“With conditions like the flu, getting treatment quickly after the onset of symptoms really matters,” said Dr. Nworah Ayogu, chief medical officer and general manager of Amazon Clinic in a blog post. “By quickly connecting with a provider who understands their condition, customers can explore options for relief and get the care that’s right for them in a matter of minutes or hours, not days or weeks.”

Amazon Clinic launched in November 2022 as a way to connect users with healthcare providers. Amazon Clinic does not provide the healthcare services itself and instead supplies a platform to connect telemedicine partners with users. In August, Amazon announced that the service was available in all 50 states and Washington DC. Amazon Clinic can provide care for more than 35 common health concerns, including asthma, eczema, acid reflux and pinkeye.

Today’s announcement comes as Amazon has been trying to break into the healthcare industry for years. The online retail giant launched and then shut down a telehealth service called Amazon Care last year. Amazon also closed its $3.9 billion acquisition of healthcare provider OneMedical earlier this year. Plus, the company launched Amazon Pharmacy off the back of its acquisition of PillPack.

In 2018, it formed a JV with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to build an employee healthcare operation, appointing a high-profile doctor to lead it. That service never appeared to come together and the project shut down in 2021.

source: TechCrunch