In a bid to boost the delivery of healthcare services, Amazon is now allowing customers of Alexa devices to reach telehealth services directly. This service comes in partnership with Teladoc, one of the largest telemedicine firms in the U.S.
Echo device owners can set up an appointment using the command, “Alexa, I want to talk to a doctor.” Users will then receive a call back on their device from a Teladoc doctor. A press release states that the service is only available in audio form. However, a video version is seemingly on the horizon. The two companies note that this service only accommodates non-emergency consultations, such as allergies.
“Whether they’re taking care of their sick child in the middle of the night or wanting to ask a doctor about allergy symptoms in between meetings during the day, we hope this experience will help customers find the convenient help they want from the comfort of their own home,” VP and Chief Operating Officer at Amazon Alexa, Debra Chrapaty said.
Customers without insurance may have to pay up to $75 per visit
Pricing will vary based on the insurance coverage, if available. Visits could be completely free under some insurance plans. Users without insurance will have to shell out $75 per visit. Speaking to The Verge, company spokesperson Marguerite Pinheiro said that Teladoc will collect insurance information and medical history from the customers.
This new partnership with Teladoc complements Amazon’s existing investments in the healthcare sector. Known as Amazon Care, the company’s in-house telehealth solution was initially limited to Amazon employees but has since branched out to other firms.
Last year, the e-commerce giant unveiled an elder care service that connects emergency responders with elders using fall detection devices. At around the same time, Amazon announced the rebranding of Alexa Care Hub into a service known as Alexa Together. This would put seniors in touch with their loved ones and emergency responders using only voice commands.
Expectedly, this service requires an Echo device to function as intended. After setting it up, seniors can quickly request help with a “call for help” command to their nearby Alexa device. Family members receive notifications whenever a call goes through to emergency services.