Pandemic Demand: These Top Telehealth Companies are Just What the Doctor Ordered

April 28, 2020 -

Telehealth is seeing unprecedented demand.

All as hospitals scramble to shift care online in response to a growing pandemic that has now affected more than two million people around the world. In addition, President Trump has strongly touted telehealth in the fight and just waived certain federal rules to make it easier for more hospitals to provide remote care using video chat for example.

“My emergency declaration allowed us to waive regulations to give nurses and doctors maximum flexibility to respond to the virus and to protect our frontline professionals that we’ve authorized through telehealth nationwide, which is really becoming big stuff — telehealth.  It makes it a lot easier for patients, and it really has been working out amazingly well,” said President Trump, as quoted by the White House.

Even the World Health Organization mentioned telemedicine is an essential service that’s “strengthening the Health Systems response to COVID-19.”

The industry has seen sizable spikes in demand. In fact, according to Daniel Ruppar, a consulting director at Frost & Sullivan, as noted by Computer World, “some have gotten a year’s worth of traffic on their platforms in the space of a month.” Some of the top beneficiaries of such news include Media Central Corporation (CSE:FLYY), Teladoc Health Inc. (NYSE:TDOC), Telus Health (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU), WELL Health Technologies Corp. (OTC:WLYFF)(TSX:WELL), and CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS).

Media Central Corporation (CSE:FLYY) BREAKING NEWSMedia Central Corporation Inc. announced that it will provide readers of its leading publications with access to a vast network of remote physicians throughout Canada. This initiative is being rolled out in association with Tia Health. Tia Health is one of Canada’s largest providers of telehealth services through its network of thousands of medical doctors, servicing tens of thousands of patients per month. Services are provided free of charge with a valid health card in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, and include: online appointments with Canadian medical doctors, prescriptions, referrals, requisitions, mental health support, on demand test requisitions and results, prescriptions and renewals delivered right to the door.

According to a Statistics Canada report: “In 2017, 15.3% of Canadians aged 12 and older [roughly 5.6 million people] reported that they did not have a regular health care provider they see or talk to when they need care or advice for their health… Overall, the proportion of Canadians reporting that they did not have a regular health care provider remained consistent with 2016 (15.8%).”

Receiving timely access to quality healthcare is difficult in a regular environment; during a pandemic, its proving to be excruciating. In response to COVID-19 and in service to their readers, NOW Magazine (“NOW”) and the Georgia Straight (“the Straight”) - the Company’s flagship titles - have increased omnichannel health and medical care coverage considerably.

“Our alliance with Tia Health provides us with the ability to deliver relevant content, further our relationship with our readers and give back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brian Kalish, CEO of MediaCentral. “We are very happy to be working with Tia Health in launching this program, which we expect will be the first of many other affiliate based ventures that allow us to leverage our omnichannel assets to engage with readers, and drive value for our advertising partners.”

Effective today, much of the health content provided by NOW and the Straight will include referral links or a call to action which directs readers to Tia Health. On Tia Health the Company’s vast audience will be able to register for free remote medical assistance, when and where they need it. NOW and the Straight will collect an affiliate fee every time a reader or their family engages with one of Tia Health’s remote services. A portion of MediaCentral’s profits will be directed to community-based healthcare in Toronto and Vancouver.

“We are extremely excited to be aligning with two of MediaCentral’s benchmark publications to help provide Canadians access to the health care they so badly need during this time of crisis,” said David Del Balso Co-founder and President of INSIG, Tia Health’s parent company. “As thousands of doctors close their clinics in response to COVID-19, NOW and the Straight are providing a very valuable service in showing Canadians there are options for their care through telemedicine, with Tia Health.”

Other related developments from around the markets include:

Teladoc Health Inc. (NYSE:TDOC) announced preliminary financial and operating results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2020. The preliminary results are subject to completion of the company’s quarterly financial reporting process and are based on present circumstances. As a result of the global outbreak of COVID-19, Teladoc Health has experienced an unprecedented surge in demand for its services. The company is now routinely providing in excess of 20,000 virtual medical visits per day in the United States, representing an increase of over 100% as compared to the first week of March. As a mission driven organization, Teladoc Health has stepped up in this time of need to address physical delivery system limitations to ensure that those in need have access to high quality care from a physician.  The performance of Teladoc Health’s technology platform has been exceptional, and the company has responded to the rising demand with a number of initiatives. These initiatives include streamlining the company’s provider onboarding process to rapidly expand new physician capacity, enhancing visit queue algorithms, and temporarily increasing physician compensation in certain cases to ensure the company’s clients and members have access to high-quality physician care in as timely a manner as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts have combined to significantly expand the number of active providers, while greatly enhancing the productivity of our existing network of physicians. 

Telus Health (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU) announced the expansion of its Home Health Monitoring (HHM) solution so that nurses and other healthcare providers in British Columbia can digitally monitor more patients remotely while they recover from COVID-19. Launched in partnership with the B.C. Ministry of Health and local health authorities, this digital health dashboard enables healthcare providers to track the symptoms and provide medical help for more patients as they recover outside of hospitals in the comfort of their own homes. “As we face the immense challenge of COVID-19, TELUS Health is committed to working alongside BC’s healthcare leaders to expand the use of technology solutions like Home Health Monitoring to support more British Columbians while recovering at home,” said Darren Entwistle, president and CEO, TELUS. “By enabling clinicians to remotely observe the vitals of patients with COVID-19, as well as those who are vulnerable to the virus, and provide necessary interventions early, we can reduce exposure and also help to alleviate the pressure in hospital emergency rooms and clinics.”

Easily accessible through a mobile device, the program sends daily prompts to the patient to report their biometrics such as temperature, physical symptoms and overall health condition. This provides crucial information on the status of a patient’s health to their clinicians who are regularly and remotely monitoring their well-being through a digital dashboard.

WELL Health Technologies Corp. (OTC:WLYYF)(TSX:WELL) announced it has appointed Tara McCarville to its board of directors. With a professional background in healthcare, consulting, and telecom, Tara has over 18 years of experience providing senior leadership in the private, public, and not for profit sectors.  Tara is Principal of Brighton Group, a health industries solution firm.  Previously, Tara was Partner and the National Health Industries Leader for PwC Canada where she was accountable for leading a national practice focused on improving quality and outcomes for government, hospital, healthtech/medtech, long term care, homecare and private equity clients.  Tara also previously served as a board member with OntarioMD, Canada’s only certification body for Electronic Medical Records companies from 2017 to 2019.  Tara also previously held an executive role with Trillium Health Partners from 2013 to 2016 and as Principal/Practice leader with TELUS Health from 2011 to 2013 where she led a number of important initiatives and strategies.  “We are delighted to welcome Tara McCarville as a valued addition to our board of directors,” said Hamed Shahbazi, Chairman and CEO of WELL.  “Tara has built a solid reputation of translating complex strategy to high performing operations, making her a leader in the collaborative health sector.  Tara’s extensive experience and contacts are not only impressive but also highly relevant to WELL’s direction as a company.”

CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) announced that it has completed the rollout of time delay safes in all of its 318 CVS Pharmacy locations in Michigan, including pharmacies located in Target stores. The safes are anticipated to help prevent pharmacy robberies and the diversion of controlled substance narcotic medications by keeping them out of the hands of unauthorized individuals. In addition, the safes are anticipated to help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees. CVS Pharmacy expects these time delay safes to help deter pharmacy robberies including those involving opioid medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to be able to open the safe. CVS Pharmacy first implemented time delay safes in Indianapolis, a city experiencing at the time a high volume of pharmacy robberies, in 2015. The company saw a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where the time delay safes had been installed.

Legal Disclaimer / Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this article contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Winning Media which has a partnership with is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release. For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice. Winning Media, which has a partnership with, is only compensated for its services in the form of cash-based compensation. Pursuant to an agreement between Winning Media (partners of and Media Central Corporation, Winning Media has been paid three thousand five hundred dollars for advertising and marketing services for Media Central Corporation. We own ZERO shares of Media Central Corporation. Please click here for full disclaimer.

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