- Amazon.com has entered into an agreement to sell virtual medical services to Hilton in the United States.
- This is Amazon Care’s first hospitality customer and its second disclosed customer after fitness maker Precor.
- Amazon rolled out the service to its employees around Seattle in 2019, and this summer it began marketing the Care nationwide to other companies.
Amazon.com has struck a deal to sell virtual medical services in the United States to Hilton, which is landing a marquee customer for its newborn healthcare business.
The company declined to disclose the financial terms of its agreement with the hotel chain.
The world’s largest online retailer has seen employers sign up to its on-demand health offering, Amazon Care, which lets users message or video-chat physicians for home visits in certain cities. Amazon rolled out the service to its employees around Seattle in 2019, and this summer it began marketing the Care nationwide to other companies.
The deal with Hilton Worldwide Holdings, which Reuters first reported, marks Amazon Care’s first hospitality customer and its second disclosed client after fitness maker Precor. It shows how the company is trying to disrupt the healthcare industry with a tried-and-tested playbook.
Just as Amazon built data centers to meet its e-commerce needs and later sold access to this infrastructure, which became its cloud-computing business, Amazon looked to profit from a healthcare service. which he had built earlier for the benefit of his workers.
Kristen Helton, director of Amazon Care, said working with Hilton’s vast and diverse workforce of corporate and hotel-chain employees represents a milestone.
“It’s not an easy population to serve,” she said in an interview on Monday ahead of Reuters’ Total Health conference.
Hilton has employed approximately 141,000 people globally as of December 31, 2020. All of its US employees enrolled in the corporate health plan will benefit from Amazon Care next year.
That means virtual meetings with physicians from Care Medical, a company focused on serving Amazon Care users. Amazon also offers house calls in the Greater Seattle and Washington-Baltimore metro areas, with plans to expand to Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and Boston.
Helton said employers’ pandemic safety concerns and hiring needs during labor shortages have contributed to demand.
“Attracting and retaining talent is very important for businesses right now,” she said.
That said, text chat through Amazon Care will be free for Hilton employees, while the provider will pay a small fee for video or home visits; Hilton pays for workers’ access to care and a portion of visitation costs. He declined to comment further on pricing.
Rivals include Teladoc Health. According to Helton, Amazon aims to stand apart through hybrid virtual and in-person care, as well as an easy user experience and clear cost.
“One area where we are focusing a lot is bringing that transparency back to the patient,” she said.