Will Amazon's telemedicine program spread beyond employees?

Amazon launched a virtual health program earlier this week to employees, offering telemedicine as well as in-person healthcare services.

The program allows employees to contact healthcare providers through its mobile app or website, and they can text nurses and receive prescriptions through the platform. While the services are only available to employees, analysts predict it could spread.

As reported by Barron's, Jailendra Singh, Credit Suisse analyst, wrote in a note: "If the Amazon Care program is a success, the company is likely to have all willingness to expand its offerings to the broader U.S. market. Historically, Amazon has experimented with new products on its employees first, before broadening them out to the general population…Bottom line, the telemedicine industry is another addition to the list of industries for which every Amazon move will now be closely watched."

Daniel Grosslight of SVB Leerink was also cited in the report. He wrote in a note that Amazon could partner with telehealth vendors to manage the network and be a potential new source of revenue. He also wrote that he "would not be surprised" if Apple and Google launched similar platforms.

More articles on telehealth:
UW Medicine to launch behavioral health telehealth center
WellSpan Health launches online urgent care clinic
Baylor Scott & White granted $500K for veteran's telehealth program

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