Amazon makes another move into your health care

Henrietta Brewer
October 28, 2019

Online shopping giant Amazon has recently announced its acquisition of healthcare startup Health Navigator.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

The deal is meant to add more capabilities to Amazon Care, a program that combines telemedicine checkups, at-home or in-office doctor's visits, and prescription deliveries.

Amazon confirmed that the Health Navigator team will join its Amazon Care group.

Amazon grabbed headlines previous year when it purchased PillPack, an online pharmacy that delivers medications in pre-sorted doses. Amazon had reportedly picked up PillPack for $753 million in June 2018 to make its way into the drugstore business.

According to CNBC, Amazon will offer the service to employees as part of its Amazon Care clinics, which are being piloted with employees. Sam Zebarjadi, co-founder and CEO of healthcare technology firm Merit, tweeted, "Will Amazon be able to apply their same eCommerce principles to care navigation - aka can you get to the right point of care with X clicks in under 60 seconds?"

"The service 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".

Health Navigator was founded five years ago by Dr. David Thompson, who is known for helping to establish the Schmitt-Thompson protocols, a set of industry-standard guidelines that are used to triage patients over the telephone.

Health Navigator describes itself on its website as a "one-of-a-kind, digital, diagnostic system" that can improve virtual health experiences by providing "accurate and efficient symptom checking".

While its website does not reference the acquisition, CNBC cited two sources who said Health Navigator intends not to renew its contract with existing customers.

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