Amazon and start-up Xealth are planning a pilot where doctors would ‘prescribe’ products to be delivered after patients leave the hospital

  • Amazon, Providence and Xealth are working together on a pilot which could launch in months, according to two people familiar.
  • The idea is to “prescribe” medical products and services to patients before they’re discharged. The products would be fulfilled by Amazon or another e-commerce company, and Prime members could get discounts.
  • That helps Amazon court a new demographic: Those with complex medical conditions, new mothers, and people recovering from common procedures and surgeries.

Amazon is talking with a start-up called Xealth and at least two hospital networks about a pilot project that would let doctors recommend bundles of medical products to their patients before they’re sent home, and have those products delivered to patients’ homes upon discharge, according to several people familiar.

The idea behind the pilot, which is still under review and is slated to start in a matter of months, is to provide patients discounted easy access to the medical supplies and other goods they need via Amazon Prime. Those who do not have a Prime membership or do not want to use Amazon would still be able to access the pilot via other e-commerce providers.

Here’s how the service might work: A patient who has just undergone a replacement knee surgery might go online to their personal page on the hospital’s portal site to get online care instructions. Under the pilot, they would also see a recommendation of bundles of goods, like bandages, braces, and over-the-counter-meds, which could be shipped to the home that same day via Amazon. All of this could be “prescribed” into a basket of sorts to the patient by a doctor via the hospital’s electronic medical record system.

A video explaining a bit of Christia Farr

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