- By screening people remotely, telemedicine companies have provided much-needed relief to brick-and-mortar doctor’s offices amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Some increased their appointment capacity and hired doctors to keep up with demand. Others went on to raise additional capital as the virus spread in the US, and Amwell confidentially filed to go public, CNBC reported.
- According to a report from CB Insights, telehealth startups reached record deal volume in 2019 and will be watched closely by investors during, and probably long after, the pandemic.
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Telehealth companies geared up to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
For startups in the industry, it has been a critical chance to prove they can be useful at a time of need. The startups added appointments, physicians, programs, and tests to help providers combat the pandemic, according to a March report from CB Insights.
As the first wave of the pandemic hit the US, telemedicine startups freed up space and workers within hospitals while also keeping patients safer by having them remain at home.
Telemedicine startups raised $3.3 billion in 244 deals in 2019, according to CB Insights. In 2018, they raised $4.8 billion in 238 deals.
“We’re busy,” a spokesperson for American Well, one of the leading telehealth companies in the US, in an email in March. “Demand for healthcare across all care setting is surging right now, and telehealth is no different.”
Amwell in June confidentially filed to go public, CNBC reported, after raising an additional $194 million in May. Other telehealth startups, including 98point6 and Bright.md have also raised capital in the months since the pandemic hit the US.
Here’s what other telehealth companies told us about how coronavirus was impacting their businesses in the early days of the pandemic:
- Doctolib’s video consultations were increasing every hour as health professionals in France get more equipped with the technology.
- Virus-related visits constituted 35% of the total daily volume for Seattle-based 98point6.
- Sweden’s KRY worked with health authorities across Europe to add capacity — it doubled normal appointments in the course of two weeks in March.
Here are the 12 telehealth startups making COVID-19 virus work a priority, according to CB Insights.
This article was initially published in March and has been updated.
Memora Health – $1.7 million
Name: Memora Health
Headquarters: San Francisco
Money raised: $1.7 million, according to the company
How it works: Memora helps healthcare organizations with appointment scheduling and follow-up appointments as well as collection of patient data like outcomes. It launched a free, text-based service that provides automated answers about the coronavirus and conducts preliminary screenings for risk factors, according to the company.
XRHealth – $15 million
Money raised: $15 million, according to TechCrunch. In April, the company raised a $7 million Series A round.
How it works: XRHealth technology is used by clinicians to provide virtual-reality-based care and analyze patient data. To keep up with coronavirus demand, it recently hired “a large number of clinicians,” according to the company. It also parterned with the Sheba Medical Center in Israel — giving quarantined patients virtual reality headsets to combat anxiety and isolation, according to CB Insights.
Bright.md – $30 million
Headquarters: Portland, Oregon
Money raised: $30 million, after raising another $16.7 million in May.
How it works: Providers use Bright.md’s platform to care for nearly 500 conditions, virtually seeing up to 200 patients in an 8 hour shift, according to the company. It’s examined tens of thousands of patients for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and offered all US-based hospitals a free screening and evaluation tool.
Cloudbreak Health – $50.2 million
Name: Cloudbreak Health
Headquarters: El Segundo, California
Money raised: $50.2 million, according to CB Insights
How it works: Cloudbreak Health is a telemedicine and translation company that helps healthcare facilities communicate with patients who don’t speak English as a primary language. It recently launched a free application to help hospitals communicate with people in quarantine, according to CB Insights.
K Health – $104 million
Name: K Health
Location: New York
Money raised: $104 million, according to CB Insights
How it works: For free, users can visit K Health platforms to learn how doctors treat people with symptoms similar to their own. To chat with a licensed primary care doctor, it’s $19 per appointment, or $39 per year for unlimited chats. The company is offering coronavirus-related visits for free.
Tyto Care – $106.7 million
Name: Tyto Care
Headquarters: New York
Money raised: The company raised $50 million in April bringing its total raised to $106.7 million.
How it works: Tyto Care allows providers to examine ear infections, sinus pain, and even bug bites with a remote exam kit. The company is accelerating manufacturing to keep up with demand, a spokesperson said. Along with XRHealth, it partnered with the Sheba Medical Center to let doctors examine quarantined patients from another room, according to CB Insights.
98point6 – $129 million
Money raised: 98point6 raised an additional $43 million in April, bringing its total raised to $129 million.
How it works: Patients initially interact with 98point6 via an automated tool, which then connects them to a primary care doctor. The company added a COVID-19 assessment tool and expects to triple its number of doctors to keep up with recent patient demand, according to Chief Medical Officer Bradley Younggren.
Doctor on Demand – $160.9 million
Name: Doctor on Demand
Headquarters: San Francisco
Money raised: $160.9 million, according to the company
How it works: Doctor on Demand offers urgent- and chronic-care services, behavioral and preventive health, and, recently, a free COVID-19 assessment, according to the company. It connects patients through its mobile application and website and is also available through employers and health plans.
Ro – $176.5 million
Headquarters: New York
Money raised: $176.5 million, according to the company
How it works: Ro offers digital health visits for men’s health, women’s health, and smoking cessation in the US. It built a free telehealth triage service to assess people with coronavirus-related concerns and connect them to a physician if needed, according to the company.
KRY – $250.6 million
Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden
Money raised: $250.6 million, according to CB Insights
How it works: KRY allows people in Sweden, Norway, the UK, France, and Germany to schedule online video appointments with doctors about a range of general health issues, and further international expansion is on the agenda, according to the company. It’s recently doubled its normal appointments due to demand brought on by the novel coronavirus.
Doctolib – $267 million
Money raised: $267 million, according to the company
How it works: It started as a software company helping healthcare professionals with online appointments and consultations. Today, 200 hospitals and 115,000 European doctors use the platform for video consultations and other services. During the pandemic, Doctolib is waving fees for French practitioners after appointments increased 40-fold, according to the company.
American Well – more than $500 million
Name: American Well
Money raised: In May, the company raised an additional $194 million. In June, the company confidentially filed to go public, CNBC reported. The company has raised more than half a billion to date.
How it works: American Well, which operates as Amwell, provides a range of services in urgent and primary care both directly to consumers online and through partnerships with 2,000 hospitals and more than 55 health plans, according to the company. It recently launched new programs related to the novel coronavirus after surges in demand and longer-than-usual wait times, though typical waits are still only about eight minutes long, according to the company and CB Insights.