Amazon kicks off new role as diagnostics provider by making COVID test available online

Amazon has already changed the way we shop and filled our homes with “smart” gadgets, and now, the tech giant is looking to change the way we manage our health, both in the face of a pandemic and beyond.

Amid the launch of its own wellness-tracking smartwatch and the expansion of the Amazon Care telehealth service, the retail giant has begun dabbling in diagnostics. Using a proprietary COVID-19 test first developed to screen its own workers during the pandemic, Amazon has now made its at-home sample collection kit available to the public online.

The kit can be purchased without a prescription by anyone 18 years and older, retails for $39.99 and can be delivered in one day in some areas.

 Each comes with a nose swab and collection tube, as well as a specimen bag and a prepaid shipping label to ship the sample back to one of Amazon’s labs around the country.

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To use the kit, each test-taker must register on Amazon’s diagnostics portal,, using an Amazon account. Once registered, users can purchase a COVID test, watch a video demonstrating how to use the kit and, once they’ve sent their sample to the lab, access their test results.

Amazon’s test isn’t the first on its website: The retailer offers a handful of other COVID-19 tests, ranging from Quidel’s QuickVue rapid test for $24.95 to a 10-pack of EmpowerDX’s self-collected PCR test kits for $890.

The launch comes shortly after an Amazon subsidiary was granted an emergency use authorization by the FDA to begin selling its test directly to consumers.

 The agency's green light also allowed for pooled testing, allowing up to five samples to be combined and analyzed at the same time, stretching lab resources.

The direct-to-consumer authorization arrived about two months after Amazon’s test kit received an initial EUA for screening the company’s employees. Beginning in March, workers in Amazon’s offices, warehouses and fulfillment centers could take biweekly tests, collecting swab samples either on their own or with virtual supervision by a telehealth provider.

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Amazon’s consumer diagnostics launch is just the latest in a long string of healthcare-centric moves by the company.

In addition to the August 2020 launch of the Halo wearable device—which tracks both physical and, thanks to voice-tracking microphones, emotional wellness—Amazon is also on track to expand its Amazon Care telehealth service this summer from an in-house employee benefit to a widescale service available to employers throughout the U.S.

And earlier this month, building on the November launch of Amazon Pharmacy for medication deliveries, the company began offering Prime customers six-month prescriptions of common drugs for chronic conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol for just $6.

“We want to make filling a prescription just as easy as shopping on Amazon,” Amazon Pharmacy Vice President TJ Parker told Bloomberg at the time.