Amazon Looks to 'Echo' Teladoc Through New Partnership

Amazon Looks to ‘Echo’ Teladoc Through New Partnership

Amazon has announced a new telehealth partnership with Teladoc that will see its Echo users gain access to 24/7 virtual healthcare services.

Only a few years after launching its own rival telehealth service, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has announced a partnership with virtual healthcare giant Teladoc (NYSE: TDOC) that will see it massively expand its healthcare suite.

But how did we end up here?

Money can’t buy everything

Amazon Care, the e-commerce giant’s telehealth service, was started in 2019 as a pilot program initially only for Amazon employees, before slowly expanding externally over the past year. 

However, despite Amazon’s seemingly bottomless coffers, the firm has struggled to secure insurer partnerships — a vital step for any healthcare network. 

Enter Teladoc, which boasts partnerships with some of the largest health systems and insurers in the U.S., including names like HCA Healthcare and Aetna amongst its affiliates.

With the telehealth space already crowded, Amazon acted promptly to secure a partnership with the global industry leader. The deal will see owners of supported Echo devices connect with healthcare providers simply by asking Amazon’s AI assistant, Alexa. Teladoc will offer 24/7 coverage with easy access to a host of different care providers.

Chief Product Officer for Teladoc, Donna Boyer, described the collaboration as “another step in breaking down barriers to healthcare access.” The deal makes tremendous sense for both parties. Amazon lacked the wide health coverage that Teladoc has, while Teladoc will benefit massively from a huge influx of new customers.

This deal is a clear endorsement of Teladoc’s product and could accelerate growth for the company. For Amazon, it allows it to pad out its healthcare offering without the need to try and grow Amazon Care too rapidly. Once it adds insurance partners and continues to scale, it could begin to transfer some patients to its own network

Until then, however, expect Teladoc to continue to lead the industry.

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