Amazon announced it would close its Halo division. It is notifying employees in the U.S. and Canada of layoffs and telling Halo users that the device and app will no longer function as of August 1.
Amazon Halo is a wrist-worn health tracker with an accompanying app that uses health metrics designed to give users a comprehensive look at their health and wellness and to provide actionable recommendations in order to make improvements.
The tech and retail giant is providing employees affected by the closure transitional health insurance benefits, a separation payment and external job placement support.
Customers will be provided full refunds on Amazon Halo Band, Amazon Halo View, Amazon Halo Rise and Amazon Halo accessory band purchases made within the past 12 months. They can also receive refunds for unused Halo subscription fees. The company said health data pertaining to the Halo wearables will also be deleted on August 1.
“We continually evaluate the progress and potential of our products to deliver customer value, and we regularly make adjustments based on those assessments. We recently made the difficult decision to stop supporting Amazon Halo, effective July 31, 2023.
“We are incredibly proud of the invention and hard work that went into building Halo on behalf of our customers, and our priorities are taking care of our customers and supporting our employees,” a spokesperson for Amazon told MobiHealthNews in an email.
THE LARGER TREND
On Wednesday, Amazon began letting go of some employees in its human resources and cloud computing divisions, which were part of the previously announced layoffs expected to affect 9,000 employees. The company had another round of layoffs beginning last year, affecting more than 18,000 employees.
The company entered the wearable device market in August 2020 with the release of Halo. It has since added new features to its wearable, including Movement Health, and has updated the Halo line, adding the Halo View in 2021 and Halo Rise in 2022.
Amazon has made several moves into the healthcare space. It closed its $3.9 billion acquisition of primary care provider One Medical in February, shortly after multiple news outlets reported the Federal Trade Commission wouldn’t sue to block the deal.
The company purchased digital pharmacy PillPack in 2018 and launched Amazon Pharmacy about two years later.
The company also recently announced a subscription service for some generic drugs that will cost a flat fee of $5 per month.