Amazon is present everywhere: in people’s homes, offices, shopping carts, and, as of late, even therapy offices. According to a webpage for Amazon Care, the company Ginger and Amazon’s virtual healthcare program now have a collaboration. Insider was the first to report on the new products.
The website lists the mental health services provided by Amazon Care. On the platform, primary care professionals can address some minor problems, such as moderate anxiety. Patients may be directed to outside specialists for more serious issues. According to the website, Ginger, a digital mental health platform that offers consumers access to therapists and coaches seven days a week, will be an optional add-on for businesses using Amazon Care. According to the website, “Amazon Care and Ginger exchange health information.”
In the US, there is a significant need for mental health treatments, yet it can be challenging for most people to locate a typical in-person therapist. Despite possible privacy hazards, a wave of mental health applications has flooded the market to fill that gap.
Amazon and Ginger have not made their connection publicly known, and as of the time of writing, Amazon had not answered a request for comment.
A hybrid in-person and virtual care service called Amazon Care was initially introduced in 2019 for Amazon employees in Seattle. Companies in all 50 states now have the option to provide this service to their employees.
This current move is simply another foray into the healthcare industry for the internet giant, which also has projects that incorporate Alexa into hospitals and plans to open its own pharmacy in 2020. Amazon stated in July of this year that it was acquiring primary care provider One Medical.
— Supriyo SB Chatterjee (@sbc111) August 13, 2022
Amazon is integrating into all facets of daily living, not just healthcare. It has just agreed to purchase iRobot, the company behind the Roomba robot cleaner, which creates maps of people’s house layouts.
According to Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, a Verge smart home critic, that is most likely the reason Amazon decided to purchase the business. Another tendril from the IT company is stretching out and encircling the private sphere, giving them “a very full picture of your daily existence.”
THE GENERAL TEND
The Amazon Care program was first introduced as a virtual clinic for Amazon’s own staff, but it has subsequently been made available to other companies around the nation. Amazon announced in February that this year it would expand its in-person care offerings to more than 20 new locations, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami.
The tech and retail behemoth, however, has big plans for the healthcare industry. Amazon said last month that it had inked a binding contract to buy hybrid primary care company One Medical for $3.9 billion in cash.
According to Sanjula Jain, senior vice president for market strategy and chief research officer at Trilliant Health, “having a physical footprint with brick and mortar actually helps enhance their continuum of care.” Sanjula Jain made this statement on HIMSS TV. “Their previous investments now make a lot more sense because they are actually in the primary care area. There is now a way to include that into the process of providing care.”
Data scientists and entrepreneurs from the MIT Media Lab established Ginger in 2011. Headspace Health was created in October 2021 after Ginger and Headspace, stress, sleep, and meditation app, successfully merged. The virtual mental health startup had received $100 million in a Series E fundraising round prior to the agreement.
Amazon Care is expanding its menu of services to include behavioral health care in addition to its current virtual health visits, in-person primary care visits at patients’ homes or offices, and prescription delivery options.
As an optional add-on to Amazon Care, Amazon’s health services division aims to collaborate with teletherapy company Ginger. According to a live website for the service, through the agreement, Amazon Care users will have access to Ginger’s on-demand mental health services, including behavioral health coaches, certified therapists, and psychiatrists.
Amazon promoted collaboration as a method for staff members to receive both physical and mental health care in one location. According to the company’s website, “With the mental health add-on, we’ll handle coordination between Care teams and Ginger therapists and psychiatrists.”
According to the website, the two companies will exchange patient health information.
According to the website, Amazon Care primary care professionals address common behavioral health issues, and care coordinators will wherever possible connect staff members to “high-quality, in-network behavioral health experts for acute- to moderate-level concerns.”
People familiar with the situation told Business Insider that the new service has not yet begun.
The action is being taken as firms intensify their efforts to increase their employees’ access to mental health care. In 2022, improved access to these services will be a top priority for three out of four companies (76%) according to the Business Group on Health’s annual study of employer attitudes toward healthcare. Additionally, 57% of businesses said they would concentrate on eradicating the stigma associated with mental health requirements.