The ongoing competition for telehealth services, which received a big boost during the COVID-19 pandemic, has seen a new alliance develop. Virtual healthcare provider Teladoc announced a partnership with Amazon that will utilize Alexa smart speakers to provide care.
The new service, which went live in early March, pairs Teladoc’s existing virtual care structure with supported Amazon Echo devices to provide general medical care. While initially only audio visits are available, video visits will be available in the near future.
The service works like this: A patient asks Alexa to be connected to a doctor. The patient is then connected to a Teladoc call center for screening. Medical history and health insurance information are verified. The patient is notified if any payment is required. A Teladoc doctor will call the patient back on the Echo device.
Insured patients may pay as little as $0 for the service; uninsured patients are charged $75.
Although Teladoc and Amazon are competitors, this collaboration makes sense, especially for Teladoc. Amazon’s smart speakers have the largest share of smart speakers in the US, increasing from over 50% in 2020 to almost 70% in 2021. Using the pervasive technology will help Teladoc achieve its goal of meeting consumers where they are.