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Amazon acquires telemedicine startup Health Navigator

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Amazon is continuing its push into the healthcare space by acquiring a startup called Health Navigator that provides technology as well as services to digital health companies.

CNBC reached out to the e-commerce giant which confirmed the acquisition and said that Heath Navigator will become part of the company's recently launched Amazon Care group. Amazon Care provides medical benefits to the company's employees through telemedicine but in-home visits are also available when additional care is required.

An Amazon spokesperson provided more details on Amazon Care to CNBC in an email, saying:

"The service eliminates travel and wait time, connecting employees and their family members to a physician or nurse practitioner through live chat or video, with the option for in-person follow up services from a registered nurse ranging from immunizations to instant strep throat detection."  

Health Navigator

Health Navigator currently has around a dozen employees which makes Amazon's second acquisition in the healthcare space much smaller that when it purchased PillPack last year for $753m. The company has already made a significant investment into PillPack but entering the market has proven difficult for Amazon as other players in the space have prevented it from accessing patient data or trying to hire their employees.

The CEO of Health Navigator, David Thompson founded the business back in 2014 and is already well known in the medical sector for developing the Schmitt-Thompson protocols. These protocols have now become the standard way for nurses and other hospital staff to guide patients to the right place, usually through call centers.

In its work with technology partners such as Microsoft and other healthcare companies, Health Navigator provides a number of services such as symptom-checking tools that can aid with remote diagnoses and the company helps patients determine whether they should stay home, see a doctor or head straight to the emergency room.

Neither Amazon nor Health Navigator have yet to make an official announcement regarding the acquisition but we will likely hear more once the recently acquired company becomes a part of Amazon Care.

We've also highlighted the best telemedicine software of 2019