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Amazon is Shutting Down Amazon Care -- But It Has Other Plans To Break Into The Healthcare Industry

The company's telehealth service will shut down on December 31st.

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In 2019, Amazon launched its own telehealth service for employees in and around its Seattle headquarters. Just three years later, the company announced it will shut down the service at the end of the year on December 31st.

"This decision wasn't made lightly and only became clear after many months of careful consideration," wrote Amazon senior vice president of health Neil Lindsay, in a memo obtained by The Verge. "Although our enrolled members have loved many aspects of Amazon Care, it is not a complete enough offering for the large enterprise customers we have been targeting, and wasn't going to work long-term."

Amazon Care services included virtual urgent care visits, free consults, and in-home visits from nurses available with a fee.

Related: 'They Gave Us All the Free Stuff': A Look Inside Amazon's Lavish Mexican Retreat for Influencers

The decision to shut down the service comes mere months after the company announced it'd be launching Amazon Care nationwide. In February, Amazon expanded the range of Amazon Care in hopes to incorporate the system to employees across the country as well as offer the service to other companies. Furthermore, the company appeared to be expanding Amazon Care as recently as earlier this month, when it announced plans to partner with mental health company, Ginger.

Still, the telehealth service is set to expire at the end of the year, and could in part be due to Amazon's ambitions to expand into the healthcare industry. Just last month, the company acquired boutique primary care provider One Medical for $3.9 billion, and is reportedly bidding for the home health services provider Signify Health, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Related: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know About the Post-Pandemic Telehealth Industry

"You've heard me say it before, but I believe the health care space is ripe for reinvention," Lindsay wrote in the memo announcing Amazon Care's cessation, "And our efforts to help improve the health care experience can have an immensely positive impact on our quality of life and health outcomes."

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