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Amazon launches a message-based virtual clinic to treat allergies, hair loss, and acne

Amazon launched Tuesday a virtual clinic for common health conditions such as allergies and hair loss. This is the latest attempt by the e-commerce giant, to expand its reach in the healthcare sector.

Amazon Clinic is a messaging-based virtual care option. It is designed to connect customers with affordable options for virtual care when and where they need them, Dr. Nworah, chief medical officer and general manager of the new service, stated in a blog post.

Amazon (AMZN), Clinic provides treatments for over 20 common conditions. It is currently available in 32 states. Ayogu said that plans are to expand the service to other states in the future.

Amazon has been steadily expanding its presence in the healthcare sector over recent years. In 2018, Amazon acquired PillPack online pharmacy. Later, Amazon Pharmacy launched its digital pharmacy called Amazon Pharmacy in 2019. Amazon purchased One Medical, a subscription-based primary care provider, earlier this year for $3.9 billion.

Amazon is expanding its reach to every corner of customers’ lives with these moves, including home devices, grocery stores, video streaming, and video streaming. Some of these initiatives have been criticized by lawmakers and activists.

Ayogu explained that Amazon Clinic allows customers to select their condition and then choose their preferred provider from the list of licensed and qualified Telehealth Providers. Customers will then be connected with doctors via a messaging portal. After a brief chat, the medical professional will send the patient a treatment plan along with any prescriptions.

Amazon Clinic is currently not able to accept insurance, but it is eligible for FSA and HSA. According to the company, customers will be able to see how much a consultation costs before they go to seek treatment. Ayogu wrote that the prices are determined by the providers and not Amazon Clinic. In many cases, the cost of care is comparable to or lower than the average copay.

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