Amazon on Wednesday said it is shuttering its telehealth service, Amazon Care, as the company rethinks its approach for expanding into the health care industry.
Launched in 2019, Amazon Care promised to virtually connect patients with a clinician “24/7, 365 days a year,” according to its website, and also offered some in-person services in certain cities. It was initially built for Amazon’s employees as well as for enterprise clients.
After gathering feedback from customers and their employees, the company determined that Amazon Care “isn’t the right long-term solution” for customers, and it will cease to be offered at the end of this year, according to a memo to staffers from Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services.
“This decision wasn’t made lightly and only became clear after many months of careful consideration,” Lindsay wrote in the memo, a copy of which was provided to CNN Business. “Although our enrolled members have loved many aspects of Amazon Care, it is not a complete enough offering for the large enterprise customers we have been targeting, and wasn’t going to work long-term.”
Amazon has long sought to disrupt the health care industry and broaden its reach into the lives of consumers. The tech giant acquired an online pharmacy in 2017 and relaunched it as its own digital pharmacy in 2018. Amazon also partnered with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to offer better health care services to workers at the three companies, though this effort shut down last year.
As Amazon does away with the telehealth service, it’s investing heavily in another similar effort. Last month, Amazon said it had entered an agreement to acquire One Medical in an all-cash deal valued at approximately $3.9 billion. The membership-based primary care services promises customers “24/7 access to virtual care” and operates in a dozen major US markets. Like Amazon Care, One Medical works with companies to offer health benefits to their employees.
In his memo, Lindsay said the company will take what it has learned from its Amazon Care project and “will continue to invent, learn from our customers and industry partners, and hold ourselves to the highest standards as we further help reimagine the future of health care.”