Amazon AMZN has had a busy couple of days. The e-commerce giant held their annual hardware event on Wednesday in Seattle a day after they announced they would be taking their biggest step yet into healthcare by launching its Amazon Care service for its Seattle employees. Amazon has given prior hints into its interest into diving into the $3.7 trillion market. It is using its Seattle employees as a trial run for their latest healthcare initiative. The firm unveiled new products and features to eager consumers at their annual event.
As previously mentioned, Amazon’s latest move into healthcare comes as no surprise, as the firm has been making strategic moves over the past few years. Amazon acquired the online pharmacy company Pillpack last June for $1 billion and formed a joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase JPM called Haven, which aims to shake up the healthcare industry. The company has given its AI product, Alexa, some healthcare skills like notifying users when subscriptions need to be filled and provides information on users’ blood sugar levels.
Amazon Care attempts to give consumers the best of both worlds by combining traditional in-person and virtual healthcare. The firm’s new healthcare service provides urgent care for things like colds and infections. They also offer preventative wellness consultations and lab tests, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and answers to general health questions.
The company then gives these traditional healthcare services a modern twist. Amazon Care offers an in-app chatroom that would connect users seeking medical advice to certified nurses within minutes. The service would also provide clients with video-based appointments with doctors who can provide a diagnosis and recommended treatments for patients. In addition, in-home or in-office visits with medical professionals would also be offered and prescription drug orders would be delivered in as little as two hours.
Alexa Ecosystem Grows
Shortly after announcing its healthcare debut, Amazon unveiled more than a dozen new Alexa-enabled products at its annual hardware event in Seattle. Amazon revealed its new competitor to Apple’s AAPL Air Pods, called Echo Buds. The headphones are expected to be retailed at $129, have built in Alexa capabilities, five-hour battery life, and have noise reducing technology engineered by Bose. It also introduced the $199 Echo Studio, which is larger than previous models and sports high-quality speakers that enable 3D sound.
A new Echo device that Amazon showcased was the Echo Glow. The new Echo product is marketed towards young kids, changing colors when kids tap the top of the device. The product is also Alexa-enabled, allowing consumers to set timers, play music, and turn on “campfire” mode, which sets a warm soothing vibe.
Similar to last year’s event, Amazon revealed a new Alexa-enabled smart kitchen item. The tech giant is launching a $249 smart oven that’s equipped with convention cooking and an air fryer. Users can also scan an item from the Alexa app to get the oven to start cooking. Amazon stated that users who purchase the new smart oven will receive a complimentary Echo Dot. The e-commerce company also revealed new Alexa features like “door concierge” that adds a voice assistant to the Ring smart doorbell system. Another Alexa feature that was introduced was the ability to mimic celebrity voices. Right now, users can pay $0.99 to have Samuel. L Jackson speak and perform all of the Alexa capabilities.
With its own online pharmacy, unmatched delivery speed, and solid reputation for customer satisfaction, Amazon has a chance to shake up the healthcare industry that Americans have been diligently trying to reform.
The products the company unveiled expands its tech presence and its Alexa-enabled features entices consumers to buy more Amazon products so that they may expand their Alexa ecosystem within their homes. The new products should help Amazon keep its 70% market share in the speaker space while the new Alexa features keep users entertained.
We are reissuing this article to correct a mistake. The original article, published September 26, 2019, should no longer be relied upon.
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