Within the next few weeks, UK consumers will be able to log onto either Amazon or Boots’s website and order a home test for delivery that will tell them if they have had the coronavirus.
Lucy Ingham, Technology Editor at Verdict, comments: “This is a key step in the UK’s fight against the coronavirus, but for Amazon, it also represents a fortuitous step towards its wider move into the healthcare space.
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“The home test kit works by pricking the user’s finger for blood, which it then tests for the presence of Covid-19 antibodies. The results take around 15 minutes, with a positive result indicating – at least in theory – whether a person has had the coronavirus and recovered.
“The UK government has at present ordered 3.5 million of the tests, and is currently validating their accuracy before they are made available to members of the NHS and the public. It is not yet clear exactly when this will be.
“This is not the first partnership Amazon has entered into with a UK institution. Last year, the tech giant was given access to NHS data as part of an initiative to enable the UK health body to offer expert health advice through Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant.
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“Widely criticised, the move was a key first step for Amazon into the UK health space, However, the contract to provide delivery services for coronavirus home test kits is an unplanned for but valuable second step.
“Although the US tech giant has generally declined to discuss the matter, it has been widely acknowledged that Amazon is making a slow but ambitious bid to become a key player in the healthcare space, not only in the UK, but in key markets across the world.”
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