By now, you’re probably familiar with how companies are using the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile apps to improve employee wellness. Wearable devices and IoT app development now allow you to track metrics like your heart rate and fitness level. Organizations are using these capabilities to incentivize their workers to commit to their well-being.
But Amazon is taking things one step further. From prescription delivery to telehealth appointments, the company’s new program, Amazon Care, is giving its employees easy access to the resources they need when they’re sick. Is this the future of healthcare?
Wait, What’s Amazon Care?
Amazon Care is essentially an extension of a normal health insurance plan that emphasizes convenience. Currently, the program is being piloted for the e-commerce giant’s employees and their families based in Seattle, its hometown.
A mobile app acts as the main contact point for members to receive the care they need from medical professionals. One of the best parts about this new service is it lets people skip sitting in the waiting room and wasting time.
Amazon Care participants can use it for a variety of reasons. Urgent care issues like minor injuries, cold, infections, and allergies can all addressed with the app. It also offers sexual health services such as sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and contraception. And, of course, if you just have general health questions or would like to take preventative measures via vaccines or lab work, it can help with that as well.
How Does Amazon Care Work?
After verifying their eligibility, a person can start using the medical app right away. It’s open from 8 am to 9 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to 6 pm on weekends.
Once users indicate that they have a health concern, the mobile app allows them to talk with a medical provider through either text chat or video stream. During this stage, the healthcare expert communicates with the user to determine their situation and what they need.
If the health provider decides that the user requires an in-person evaluation, they’ll dispatch a medical professional to their location. Like ride-sharing apps do with their drivers, Amazon Care lets its users see a map of where the provider is in transit, along with an estimated time of arrival.
After a user receives a diagnosis, they may need prescription medicine to deal with their malady. Besides allowing you to skip the waiting room, Amazon Care can also save you a trip to the pharmacy! Care Couriers can bring your prescription to your home or office in under 2 hours. Of course, if you prefer to pick up your prescription yourself, it can be dispatched to a local pharmacy too.
After your virtual or in-person doctor visit, Amazon Care provides you with a care summary that gives details of your diagnosis, along with any notes from the physician and their recommended course of action. You can easily PDF all of this information to store outside of the app if you prefer.
Last but not least, if you’d like more accurate treatment and want to save your provider some time, you can fill out a profile right after installing the app. It will ask you questions about your health history and save your payment details.
Is This the Future of Healthcare?
Amazon Care is still in its early stages and only available to a few employees of the company. Still, it’s easy to see how this health insurance extension and mobile app could become a success. When you’re feeling unwell, the last thing you want to do is take a drive to a clinic and wait for a doctor to see you. And if you’re feeling really bad, being outside in public is probably not something you’re eager to do, either.
The option to receive healthcare in the comfort of your home or at the office may seem like a subtle improvement of the status quo. But it’s priceless in terms of convenience. While it’s unclear if Amazon will expand this program, telehealth options like Amazon Care are here to stay.
Numerous analysts agree that these types of high-tech medical solutions can dramatically cust costs for businesses. They’re also blazing the way for more organizations to take control over and improve healthcare for their employees.
Walmart, one of Amazon’s biggest commerce competitors, is also leveraging these new technological possibilities via a dedicated app and website that helps workers of the company address their health needs. It even employs data analysis to determine which physicians (including specialists) in the company’s network of providers often have the best outcomes.
In cases like Amazon’s and Walmart’s, the company and employees both win. Simply put, the organizations get to save money, and the patients get higher rates of satisfaction. Thanks to Walmart’s data analytics capabilities, patients also don’t have to spend hours trying to find the best provider, which in turn saves Walmart more money; the company’s health coverage won’t have to go towards doctors that don’t get the right results.
Everybody gets sick once in a while. Giving people convenient access to healthcare is crucial to ensure they stay healthy. Since mobile apps have “eaten the world,” accomplishing this through smartphones was a logical move for both Amazon and Walmart.
Do you use a mobile app to manage your healthcare? Or do you prefer the old-fashioned way? As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments below!Tags: amazon, amazon app, app developers Seattle, eHealth app, health app, health app developer, health app developers, healthcare IoT, Internet of things app developers Seattle, iot app development, iot apps, medical app developer, medical app developers, medical app development, MedTech app developers Seattle, mHealth app developer, mobile app developer Seattle, mobile app development Seattle