If you have an
device, you can now summon medical care with a simple voice command. On Monday, Teladoc Health, one of the largest telemedicine companies in the US, announced its partnership with Amazon to launch a "virtual care" service that will allow
users to connect with health care providers via Echo devices.
Echo users can say, "
, I want to talk to a doctor" to be connected with the Teledoc call center, and then a Teledoc health provider will call back through the device. This service will be available 24/7 for nonemergency needs -- like allergies or colds -- and will initially be audio-only. A video chat feature is set to be offered soon, according to the press release.
"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," Debra Chrapaty, vice president and COO for Amazon Alexa, said in the release.
For people with insurance, the out-of-pocket cost will vary depending on coverage. The cost per visit is $75 without insurance. The Teledoc call center will collect the patient's medical history and insurance information during the initial call, according to The Verge.
This is just Amazon's latest venture into the health care field. Earlier this year, the company expanded its Amazon Care services to 20 cities in the US. Amazon Care provides a wide range of medical care services, including COVID-19 and flu testing, vaccinations, treatment of illnesses and injuries, preventive care, sexual health, and prescription requests and refills.
While Amazon Care consists of both virtual and in-person services, Teledoc's service is fully remote, a practice that has grown in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.