The COVID-19 crisis has been a boon for many businesses, particularly those specializing in remote communication and collaboration. Microsoft Teams and Zoom’s video conferencing tools have surged in demand, while web-based visual design platform Lucid locked down $ 52 million in financing in just two weeks as investors scramble to back companies capable of thriving during the pandemic.
Telemedicine is another field that has seen unprecedented demand as patients seek to access medical care without breaching social-distancing protocols. In March, virtual health consultations grew by 50%, according to Frost and Sullivan research, with general online medical visits on course to hit 200 million this year — up significantly from the 36 million anticipated before COVID-19 struck.
Against this backdrop, telehealth startup Medici today announced that it has raised $ 24 million in a series B round of funding. Founded out of Austin, Texas in 2016, Medici is essentially a WhatsApp for remote medical care and serves as an all-in-one platform for messaging, voice calls, and video chat. Patients can search for and connect with doctors, veterinarians, and other health care providers through the mobile app, while doctors can choose to receive payments for their telehealth visits directly through the app.
Additionally, Medici allows doctors to issue e-prescriptions during or after a consultation and offers in-app translations to circumvent language barriers. It also comes with $ 1 million in liability insurance.
Medici had previously raised nearly $ 50 million, and with another $ 24 million in the bank it is looking to “accelerate its growth” and capitalize on a “huge uptick” in patient signups and consultations. As with other telehealth platforms, demand for Medici has gone through the roof in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis — the company said between February and April it experienced a nearly 1,500% surge in new patient registrations.
While many general consultations can be carried out remotely, certain types of examinations are difficult to perform through a virtual platform, particularly when specialist equipment is needed. This is why a number of companies have developed special home-use kits that send vital data to health care professionals. Earlier this month, New York-based Tyto Care closed a $ 50 million round of funding for a telehealth examination and diagnostic platform that includes an otoscope for ear inspections and a stethoscope for heart, lungs, and abdomen.