Modern healthcare is changing rapidly. Today, you can use your smartphone and a variety of digital tools to do everything from monitoring your heart rate to getting personalized health advice. At the same time, the number of people using telehealth continues to grow.
Amazon Clinic is a form of telemedicine used to deliver medical services through text messaging. The types of ailments available for treatment through the Amazon Clinic include common conditions like eczema and seasonal allergies, and you can refill your prescriptions to help with conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
How the Amazon Clinic works
A number of companies offer AI apps that can help monitor your health. Other tools, like Google Health’s self-assessment tool, open up access to research-backed surveys to help you diagnose yourself. However, Amazon Clinic takes a different approach by giving you a way to connect with a real, qualified doctor who will review your health and medical information, provide accurate treatment, and even prescribe medication that you can pick up at your local pharmacy.
Amazon Clinic is appointment-free, which means you can start a visit with a doctor without the need for video calls or live chat at a time that’s most convenient for you. You no longer need to wait days or weeks until you can get a prescription for something that is bothering you today or wait in line at the clinic hoping to see a doctor. Say goodbye to waiting rooms, foreign germs and wasted time!
The information you provide to Amazon Clinic is reviewed by a certified physician (qualified physicians and nurses) and you will be able to view each physician’s professional credentials when assigned to your visit. Amazon also claims that it assesses the quality of the clinics before they become part of the program.
Get treatment for common conditions
At launch, the list of conditions you can receive treatment for is limited to the most common and easy to treat without the need for an in-person visit or video chat. Conditions include rosacea, yeast infections, and seasonal allergies, among others. However, Amazon Clinic may be expanded to include treatment of conditions that require you to be visually evaluated by a physician.
Treatment plans are developed after following a few simple steps. First, Amazon Clinic will ask you to answer a few questions related to the problem you are having and your health history. Amazon claims that this step only takes up to 10 minutes to complete. You will also need to submit a copy of your photo ID so the doctor can verify your identity.
After you submit your health information, a physician will be assigned to your visit and will review the information you have submitted. Once reviewed, the doctor will recommend a treatment plan. Treatment plans can include prescriptions, but can also include over-the-counter treatments and self-care strategies.
Once you receive a treatment plan, you can contact the attending physician and ask any follow-up questions you may have.
Prescription Refills Through Amazon Clinic
Prescription renewals work a little differently than treatments at Amazon Clinic. For example, you must already have a prescription for the medication you are seeking to renew. For required high blood pressure medications, you will need to provide a copy of a prescription issued within the last six months.
Physicians will not be able to prescribe new medications or change the dosages of medications, or order laboratory tests. However, you will be able to follow up with a doctor by following your prescription.
Just like getting treatment for a condition, to refill a prescription through the Amazon Clinic, you’ll be asked to answer a few questions related to the medication you need, as well as your health history. You will also need to submit a copy of your photo ID, as well as a photo or screenshot of your existing prescription that includes the name of the medication, the dosage, and the date it was last filled.
For some prescription refills, additional information may be required to support your request. In the case of high blood pressure medications, your doctor may request a recent blood pressure reading, a heart rate reading, or even the results of kidney function tests done within the last 12 months.
All the documents you must submit for each type of prescription are listed on the Amazon Clinic website, as well as the costs associated with each drug (which vary by state). At launch, Amazon Clinic is only available in certain states in the US. The service does not provide narcotics or other medications listed as controlled substances and is not intended to be used to assist individuals enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid.
Benefits and risks of using Amazon Clinic
Telemedicine services like Amazon Clinic have emerged as effective ways to deliver medical services through audio, text, and video communication technology. The type of healthcare that is practiced via telemedicine already includes psychology, dermatology, and even some forms of emergency care. Telehealth can support your mental well-being, treat physical conditions, and give you peace of mind without the stress of scheduling appointments.
However, telemedicine has benefits and risks. Some of the main challenges are related to the level of care patients receive, the increased likelihood of misdiagnosis, and issues related to the collection and handling of their personal health information. For these reasons, you may want to think twice and carefully consider whether Amazon Clinic is right for you before signing up.
So is Amazon Clinic right for you?
Amazon Clinic is not designed to treat you for complex problems that require specialized equipment or in-person visits to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Instead, this service is designed to treat simpler conditions and provide routine prescription refills.
If your healthcare needs are simple and you’ve weighed the risks associated with telehealth, Amazon Clinic could save you the time and hassle associated with seeing a doctor in person.