Amazon Clinic

So I had covid several weeks ago for the first time. As often happens when I get a respiratory illness, even after I feel better I can get a lingering cough that seems to go on forever. There are a few prescription meds that have helped in the past but getting a prescription requires a doctor visit or at least a Telehealth one. Even a small interaction with the US healthcare system is always likely to make me frustrated or disappointed.

I noticed a while back that Amazon had started Amazon Clinic where they will treat a pretty large set of conditions via Telehealth but even better you can do it just via filling out a form. These are organized almost like products (with an ASIN and everything) such as the one I used.

It took 5 minutes or so to fill out the form describing my symptoms etc. Its a lot of forms like:

Then you go through a checkout flow where you get to specify your pharmacy or you can use Amazon Pharmacy. They do not take insurance but the cost was only $32 which is likely less than my co-copay as I have a high deductible/HSA plan.

About 30 mins later I get a message and a PA has written me a script for the meds I wanted. I never had any 2 way communication of any kind with anyone. They do allow you to ask questions via the platform for up to 15 days after your appointment for follow up questions.

A lot to consider but tbh, It felt like the future.

Interestingly Amazon is using a couple of vendors to supply this service. What is available in which state can vary but they appear to be using SteadyMD and Hello Alpha. These companies provide the health care providers and they must have some integration with Amazon’s infrastructure.

The really interesting part of this of course is all the data that’s being accumulated and how long will it be before we don’t even need those expensive doctors in the loop? What is really the right way to meter access to prescription meds?






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