Virtual health is becoming increasingly popular. Image courtesy of Daniel Frank via Unsplash.
The pandemic has shown the value of virtual healthcare and greatly increased its popularity almost overnight.
Patients no longer need to physically visit their healthcare provider for many services and can access medical advice at any time in any space. It is predicted that the changeover will reduce healthcare expenses and disparities due to increased accessibility for rural and other patients.
Funding for digital health companies has also grown significantly over the past year, reaching an estimated $21.6B in 2020. Reports show that six companies in the healthcare category filed for IPO and raised over $6B. In addition, ten companies received record amounts in funding as investors poured cash into digital healthcare.
The Org has identified five digital healthcare providers to keep an eye on as we transition to the new normal.
Firefly Health is a virtual primary care provider focused on delivering a network of healthcare teams for each of its clients. Founded in 2017 by Harvard Medical School physicians Andy Ellner and Jeff Greenberg, the company is currently led by CEO and former venture capitalist Fay Rotenberg.
"I became really excited about the vision, it resonated a lot with what I saw was wrong with the current system," Rotenberg told The Org. "A lot of diseases are driven by behavior and the original intention of Firefly was to recreate a care delivery organization that actually targeted death, disease and cost drivers today -- which are behaviourally driven conditions."
Since joining the company in 2019, Rotenberg has been dedicated to expanding Firefly Health’s services and she is aiming for those services to be half the price of traditional healthcare in the future. Currently, Firefly clients have access to primary healthcare physicians, nurse practitioners, behavioral health specialists, psychiatrists, cardiologists, dermatologists, urologists, and many other virtual specialists.
"Our chronic condition outcomes, our experience, is twice as good and we're about 25-30% less expensive than the commercial average," Rotenberg said.
Founded by Katherine Ryder in 2014, Maven Clinic is a virtual care provider explicitly designed for women and families. Currently, the company supports fertility, pregnancy, adoption, parenting and pediatric care through telehealth services, educational content, reimbursement management and breast milk shipping.
Ryder was motivated to build Maven as she watched friends start their families and experience significant gaps in care throughout their journeys of fertility, pregnancy, and early parenting.
"It's not convenient unless you live in a large city in the United States," Karsten Vagner, VP of People at Maven, told The Org. "What Ryder saw was this real need that women and expecting mothers had in particular for getting better access to health care and better support."
Maven is also committed to supporting diversity, equity & inclusion efforts in its workplace. Currently, the company's board of directors, executive team and managers are all majority female. Since the pandemic, Maven has grown exponentially. In its latest Series C funding round led by Icon Ventures, the company raised $45M, bringing the total amount of funding raised to $92M.
"When I joined there were around 75 employees. Today, we're at nearly 200," Vagner said. "We are still hiring a ton."
Dental Monitoring is an AI-based solutions software that enables orthodontists to see patients virtually. In addition, software designed by the company can analyze and detect oral defects using images taken on smartphones.
The company was founded in 2014 by Philippe Salah and a team of industry experts who wanted to simplify dental care. It has since become one of the leading dental monitoring platforms worldwide, operating across the United States, Europe and Asia.
Dental Monitoring recently expanded its solutions to align both aligner and braces treatments.
"Dental professionals can now monitor all their aligner and braces cases independent of brand with the same, highly scalable AI-driven workflow. In addition to monitoring treatment progress, they can now actively define and monitor clinical goals for each patient," Salah said in a press release.
As of 2020, Dental Monitoring counts 500,000 patients on its platform.
Hims & Hers
Founded by Andrew Dudum in 2017, Hims & Hers is a health company dedicated to providing wellness products and telemedical solutions.
The platform allows its patients to communicate with medical professionals not restricted to 9-5 office hours, who more actively involved in their healthcare experiences. Clients can receive prescription products by filling out a simple questionnaire, saving them a visit to the doctor's office.
"What you've seen from us in the last few years is a consistent expansion into more categories, one by one," Dudum said in an interview with Glossy. "We're going to keep chugging along and investing this year in things like dermatology, sleep, mental health and testing. We'll invest in more chronic conditions plaguing a huge portion of our population, like hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes and fertility."
Most recently, Hims & Hers acquired vertical health platform Honest Health as it looks to expand its footprint in the UK market.
Focused on providing exceptional mental healthcare to its clients, Meru Health offers programs that incorporate psychiatric support, peer support and virtual workshops with verified healthcare professionals.
The company recently surveyed 1,321 US employees and found that more than 50% of employees did not seek mental health assistance when needed due to high costs.
"It's shocking to me to see so many people not pursuing the mental health assistance they need," Kristian Ranta, CEO and Founder of Meru Health, said in a press release. "Providing digital options offers a low-threshold and flexible option to get care whenever and wherever needed. It also allows for asynchronous care: you can get help and talk to someone when you need it and not have to wait for your appointment."
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