Amazon plans to shut down Amazon Care, the virtual health service it first launched in 2019, by the end of the year. The company announced the decision to Amazon Care employees on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.
“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,” Amazon senior vice president of health Neil Lindsay in an email to staff shared with Fierce Healthcare.
Amazon Care started as a service for Amazon employees based in Seattle. It paired virtual health care services with the option for an in-home visit from a nurse. The company expanded the program nationwide just this past February, offering it to companies in all 50 states who wanted to provide the service to their employees. Amazon was still expanding the service as recently as this month, when a webpage showed that it was adding mental health care through a partnership with mental health company Ginger.
The move to shut down an in-house health service comes on the heels of Amazon’s planned acquisition of the subscription-based primary care company One Medical. Amazon is also reportedly interested in buying Signify Health, a company that makes technology for at-home health care.
Like most technology companies, Amazon has ambitions to expand into the lucrative healthcare market. It purchased prescription delivery company PillPack in 2018 and has its own pharmacy.
But this isn’t the first time Amazon has abruptly shuttered a health venture — Haven, a project it launched with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to disrupt the healthcare industry, collapsed in 2021. Its in-house pharmacy business hasn’t been a major driver toward Prime subscriptions, according to a recent Morgan Stanley survey.
Amazon Care operations will end on December 31st.