Amazon is now the developer of an authorized Covid-19 test.
The company on Thursday received emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for an at-home test known as the Amazon Covid-19 Collection Kit. The nasal swab and PCR-based test, developed by Amazon subsidiary STS Lab Holdco, allows users to test themselves with or without the supervision of a health care professional.
The authorization comes as Amazon is making a full-court press into health care. Just two weeks ago, the tech giant announced the national expansion of its virtual-first health care platform, Amazon Care; two months before that, it penned a letter to President Biden offering logistical and technical support for its Covid-19 vaccine distribution plans.
STS Lab Holdco is currently operating federally authorized laboratories from which it can process the results of its Covid-19 tests in at least seven states, including California, Texas, Kentucky, and Florida, according to paperwork filed publicly and viewed by STAT.
The test clearance gives Amazon yet another chance to deepen its existing inroads in health care, which now span virtual and in-person care, wearables, and Covid-19 research. While there is currently no shortage of available Covid-19 tests — including those that offer people the ability to self test — the new kit could provide further traction for Amazon Care, should the the company choose to make it available as part of that program.
In recent weeks, a clearer picture has been emerging of Amazon’s bigger ambitions for Care.
According to publicly filed documents viewed by STAT, Amazon created and trademarked Care Medical, the medical provider with whom it has said it contracts to deliver its services. In recent days, Amazon has expanded Care from a service focused on urgent and primary care to one capable of providing preventive and chronic care as well. In a job posting earlier this month, Amazon also listed Care’s mission statement for the first time: “To invent and simplify large-scale solutions and bring the future to customers and clinicians.”
Part of Amazon’s plan to offer those services involves so-called Care Teams, dedicated groups of health care providers who are matched with patients. The Care Team will “get to know you, understand your health goals, and build a relationship with you to provide the care you need,” according to Care’s website. That aspect of the business is very similar to an effort by now-shuttered Haven, Amazon’s joint venture with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, which involved assigning a dedicated team of primary care health workers to each patient.
Katie Palmer contributed reporting.