Telemedicine is on its way to becoming mainstream. One company, Teladoc, is believed to have garnered a 75% market share, but I expect a lot more competition coming in. That will be a good thing, more competition will mean better choices for consumers. So far, consumers like telehealth. For as little as $40 they can see a board certified provider on their iPad anytime, anywhere. The average call-back time is eight minutes. You can’t specify what provider you see, but for many ailments, you are happy to see any provider who can make a diagnosis and provide an online prescription if needed. More mHealth devices are emerging which will allow you to check for a child’s ear infection, listen to your heart and lungs, and even take a 30-second EKG.
From a business point of view, telehealth is coming on the radar screen of financial analysts. Teladoc’s first quarter revenue grew 59.5% to almost $43 million. Total revenue for 2016 reached $123.2 million. Nearly 18 million consumers have registered to use the system, annual growth of 43%. The company has been valued by investors at approximately $2 billion. The company is losing money due to the investment in growth, but the losses are narrowing.