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Amazon ends Halo support, offers refunds; layoffs result

Amazon is phasing out its Halo device.

The Amazon Halo wearable health monitoring device is riding off into the sunset, and some employees are being laid off.

Amazon introduced Halo, a service that combines a suite of AI-powered health features with the Amazon Halo app and Fitbit-like Amazon Halo Band wearable device, in August 2020.

In a corporate blog post, Amazon said it will stop supporting Amazon Halo effective July 31, 2023, and Halo devices will no longer work as of Aug. 1, 2023. The company will fully refund Halo-related customer purchases made in the preceding 12 months. Google still offers the similar Fitbit personal health tracker device and app, but has scaled back on features such as challenges and open groups.

Amazon will also refund any unused prepaid Halo subscription fees to a customer’s original payment method. As of today, customers with a paid subscription will no longer be charged their monthly subscription fee, and do not need to take any additional steps.

“At Amazon, we think big, experiment, and invest in new ideas like Amazon Halo in our efforts to delight customers,” the company said in an email sent to Halo subscribers. “While we are proud of what we built, we recently made the difficult decision to stop supporting Amazon Halo effective July 31, 2023.”

Amazon will cover the costs associated with shipping and recycling customers’ Halo devices and accessories through it recycling plan.

Amazon eliminating Halo job roles

In addition, Amazon is laying off an unspecified number of employees on the Halo team in the U.S. and Canada. For employees who are impacted by this decision, the company said it is providing packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.

[Read more: Amazon to enact new round of 9,000 job cuts]

Amazon cuts costs

The decision to cease supporting its Halo offering comes several months after deciding to shutter its Amazon Care program, which provides telehealth services for Amazon employees as well as employees of third-party clients, by the end of 2022.

The company has also engaged in other cost-cutting measures, such as shuttering the Amazon Smile program, which donated 0.5% of a participating customer’s purchase to a charity of their choice; as well as delaying groundbreaking on the second phase of its second headquarters in Northern Virginia, known as “HQ2”; and closing eight Amazon Go convenience store locations.

However, Amazon is still willing to launch major new healthcare initiatives. In February 2023, the online giant completed its acquisition of One Medical, a membership-based primary healthcare provider, for $3.9 billion, including debt (pending FTC approval).

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