Amazon has completed the acquisition of Health Navigator, a startup that works with healthcare organizations to deliver evidence-based digital health content.
Founded by David Thompson, M.D., who serves as the CEO, Health Navigator is a digital diagnostic system that aims to improve the digital health experience by providing accurate and efficient symptom checking.
The acquisition is part of Amazon Care, the company’s new employee offering, an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to Inside Digital Health™. The service, which launched at the end of September, eliminates travel and wait time to connect Amazon employees and their family members to a physician or nurse practitioner through live chat or video.
“It’s a healthcare service designed to help Amazon employees get fast access to healthcare without an appointment at the convenience of their schedule and at their preferred location — home, office or virtual,” the spokesperson said.
Employees have the option for in-person follow up services from a registered nurse for medical issues including immunizations and instant strep throat detection.
The program is currently being piloted for Amazon employees and their families in the Seattle area, according to the Amazon Care website.
“This expands (Amazon’s) virtual footprint to help employees make the right choice in care at the right time,” Arielle Trzcinski, senior analyst at Forrester Research, said in a statement to Inside Digital Health™. “Across the industry, employers, health plans and providers must leverage self-triage tools to guide patients in their decision-making on where they seek care. Empowerment and the access to data are key to tackling the cost conundrum of healthcare.”
The acquisition comes more than one year after Amazon purchased PillPack, formally making its presence known in the healthcare industry.