The Public Health Crisis Has Supercharged the Telehealth Industry
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New York, NY – December 9, 2020 The ongoing public health crisis has shown us just how valuable of a tool telehealth can be, allowing patients to access healthcare services without leaving their homes and potentially endangering themselves or others. Unsurprisingly, telehealth companies have seen massive growth and major investment in the months since the first public health shutdowns, but this is likely only the beginning. This crisis has changed the way people think about healthcare and this behavior change is likely to stick around long after things return to relatively normal. The major investment that we are seeing now in telehealth will likely lead to accelerated growth in the years to come for companies like CloudMD Software & Services Inc. (TSXV: DOC) (OTCPK: DOCRF), TELUS Corporation (TSX: T), WELL Health Technologies Corp (TSX: WELL) (OTCPK: WLYYF), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Teladoc Health Inc (NYSE: TDOC).
CloudMD is Growing Fast Amid Industry Headwinds
Telehealthcare providers like CloudMD Software & Services Inc. (TSXV:DOC) (OTC:DOCRF) were on their way up well before the pandemic, as industries across the board have been shifting more and more services online for decades now, but the pandemic has accelerated this industry’s development in ways few could have predicted. CloudMD has seen its customer base grow significantly since the start of the global health crisis, along with a 163 percent year-over-year Q2 revenue increase.
“When COVID hit, it just moved our timeline ahead by about ten years and helped us expand on what we want to do [with telemedicine] a lot quicker,” CloudMD CEO Dr. Essam Hamza told BNN Bloomberg. “Our company is set up for a pandemic.”
Hamza says that his company created a plan in the early days of the pandemic to shift more of its resources online. This forward-thinking paid off once the shutdowns began. CloudMD is a telehealth technology company that digitizes patients’ medical records and connects them with a network of nearly 4,000 doctors and healthcare professionals at more than 500 clinics throughout North America. The company uses a software-as-a-service model with a patient-centric approach. CloudMD’s proprietary technology utilizes artificial intelligence to facilitate easier access to hybrid primary care clinics, specialist care, telemedicine, mental health support, and educational resources.
Throughout the month of October, CloudMD has been very active in adding new assets and technologies to the company’s portfolio. In October alone, the company announced the acquisition of healthcare navigation platform Medical Confidence Inc, as well as Canadian Medical Directory and employee health services company HumanaCare. The company also closed the acquisition of healthcare revenue management company Benchmark Systems, as well as a US-based chronic care clinic and mental health assessment platform, Snapclarity. CloudMD also announced the launch of CloudMD On Demand, an online telemedicine service for pharmacies, insurance companies, and employers.
In addition to taking this opportunity to expand the company, CloudMD says that these additions to its portfolio will help position the company to provide increased support during a second wave of the pandemic, including the resulting mental health crisis.
Digital Health Companies Seize the Opportunity
All over the digital healthcare industry, companies have a major tailwind, and these companies are looking to translate this momentum into a strong industry footing when things settle down in the years ahead.
WELL Health Technologies Corp (TSX:WELL) (OTC:WLYYF) is the third-largest digital Electronic Medical Records supplier in Canada and operates 20 primary healthcare clinics in the country. In the wake of record revenue in Q2 2020, the company announced in November that it had completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Easy Allied Health, a mobile network of health experts focused on the fields of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, kinesiology, and clinical counselling.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), the world’s largest online retailer, announced in November that the company is adding two new pharmacy options to their e-commerce service. Amazon Pharmacy will let shoppers securely manage prescriptions and insurance information while shopping for medications online through Amazon’s regular platform. Amazon also announced the Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit, which lets Prime members access discounts when paying without insurance.
On October 30, Teladoc Health Inc (NYSE:TDOC) announced the completion of the company’s merger with Livongo in a move that Teladoc says will significantly increase the company’s capabilities for virtual care and applied health signals. Teladoc saw its revenue increase by 85 percent in the second quarter this year.
TELUS Corporation (TSX:T) subsidiary Telus Health is Canada’s largest digital healthcare platform. In 2019, Telus acquired on-demand virtual-care platform Akira in an effort to diversify the company’s operations. The timing of this application has proved extremely fortuitous for the company, as demand for Telus’s telehealth and virtual-care services rose significantly in the early days of the pandemic. Downloads of the company’s Babylon telehealth have risen tenfold since March and subscriptions to Akira rose by 80 percent.
The current momentum and accelerated development in the digital healthcare space have created an opportunity for so much more than just short-term gain. Companies like CloudMD Software & Services have a huge opportunity to build all-inclusive digital health networks with strong footing for years to come.
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