Even as it is pushing deeper into the healthcare space (supplemented by the agreement to acquire One Medical for approximately $3.9 billion in an all-cash deal), e-commerce behemoth Amazon has decided to shut down Amazon Care, the health service that was years in the making.
The company announced the same in a company email to employees, adding that in spite of having a good run, the service was not the “right long-term solution” for the company’s “enterprise customers.”
“This decision wasn’t made lightly and only became clear after many months of careful consideration,” wrote Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, in the email. “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.”
This marks the beginning of the end of Amazon Care, which will complete its third year before closing the shutters permanently after December 31. The (formerly only) virtual health service was initially used solely by Amazon’s employees in Seattle, who were the trial users before the more widespread launch.
Providing telemedicine services by connecting doctors and patients and free telehealth consults, Amazon Care grew and evolved to roll out across the US in February 2022. It also went on to provide in-person services such as vaccinations and flu testing in various cities.
The service expanded to include in-person (and in-house) services across multiple cities in the US – Seattle, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC to name a few – and Amazon announced its plans to expand it to over 20 cities over the year. Hence, Amazon’s decision to pull the plug on what originally began as a service for its employees comes off as all the more surprising.
Lindsay assured the affected Amazon Care employees that they could be placed in other jobs within the e-commerce powerhouse, and that Amazon would “support employees looking for roles outside of the company.”