retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Business Journal reports that Amazon is considering the extension of its telemedicine/virtual clinic concept, Amazon Care, to the employees working at its new HQ2 facility in Crystal City, Virginia.

The story notes that Amazon "launched its virtual clinic, Amazon Care, which lets employees schedule doctor appointments and send texts or video conference with a health care provider via a mobile app.  For now, this program has only extended to the thousands of employees living in and around its Seattle offices."

But Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president of policy, says that the company would “love to expand it into Virginia."

The Journal notes that Amazon "was watching with great interest the telehealth bill in the Virginia legislature, which passed with overwhelming support from both chambers Monday and awaits the governor's signature.

"The bill requires Virginia's Board of Health to encourage telemedicine services by establishing a framework for them at state-funded hospitals, primary care facilities, postsecondary schools and at emergency medical services agencies. It also requires that state-funded plans cover the costs of a wider range of telehealth services, including remote monitoring of chronic conditions. The bill also directs that data be collected as part of the telehealth program."

KC's View:

Anything that Amazon can make work internally, it seems to me, is something that it will consider making external when and where appropriate.  Certainly healthcare is an area ripe for disruption, and I'm sure Amazon already is ten steps ahead of this innovation in terms of its R&D efforts.  It is an enormous opportunity.