As the competition in the telehealth market heats up, one of the largest virtual care players has rolled out a new app that integrates services for primary care, mental health and chronic condition management in one place.
Just over two years after Teladoc acquired chronic condition management company Livongo, Teladoc revamped its app to offer a fully integrated healthcare experience that enables “personalized whole-person care,” executives said Thursday. The redesigned app was unveiled at CES 2023 in Las Vegas this week.
The new digital app is available to specific Teladoc clients starting this month, with full market availability later this year.
Teladoc’s full suite of services will be available in Spanish language on the mobile app and the website, marking a critical shift with more than 40 million people in the United States reporting they speak Spanish at home.
Dr. Vidya Raman-Tangella, chief medical officer at Teladoc Health, described the redesigned virtual care app as a “no-brainer.”
“What we’re trying to do in bringing all our assets together is to create that greater integrated value proposition,” Raman-Tangella said in an interview. “You cannot be sitting on incredibly valuable assets that are coming together to provide care at that holistic person level at helping individuals address everything from urgent care to primary care to chronic care to mental health, and then not have an integrated experience on the app.”
But the new app is not just about integrating the telehealth giant’s broad range of capabilities. It’s also about offering a personalized, tailored experience, she said. “There could be two people leveraging the same three services but how they use it, what is next for them and what they should anticipate is very different. This app for us is not just a manifestation of integration, but it’s also about personalizing that experience.”
She added, “We want to make things very simple for them whether it’s having a one-stop mechanism to register, to check for eligibility, to sign up for services and to seek appointments.”
Teladoc aims to provide options for individuals who don’t have primary care or good chronic condition management or mental health support, Raman-Tangella noted.
“This fully integrated experience not only helps individuals navigate between physical and mental health, but it also takes into consideration social determinants of health that play an integral part in their wellbeing,” she said.
Using the app, consumers can navigate across eligible services, review all physician-based integrated care plans and have access to care coordination capabilities with in-person providers.
Over the last year, Teladoc has invested in bringing on more than 100 new Spanish-speaking providers. Offering its full range of services in Spanish via the app and website was a key priority for the company.
“We have a significant population today that is Spanish speaking. We are taking everything that we’re hearing from consumers and bringing it to bear in multiple aspects of our business,” Raman-Tangella said.
Teladoc executives say these steps have already made an immediate and measurable impact. As of late 2022, the satisfaction ratings among Spanish-speaking individuals using Teladoc Health services exceeds that of non-Spanish-speaking individuals, according to company data.
Launched in 2002, Teladoc has grown to become one of the largest telehealth providers. As of the end of September, the company had 57.8 million paid members. Teladoc marked a major milestone in November when it surpassed 50 million telehealth visits. The company expects to clock around 18.5 million virtual care visits in 2022 alone.
The company says 1 in 4 Americans now have access to Teladoc Health services through their employer or health plan.
In a study conducted by Teladoc Health, 60% of consumers preferred virtual access to all of their care due to frustrations around care coordination. Teladoc’s new app virtually integrates all the healthcare services necessary to meet a full set of physical, mental, and socioeconomic needs and then connects that care to a 24/7 engagement platform, executives said.
“Consumers are tired of connecting the dots between different clinicians, both in-person and virtually. They require their experience to be as seamless as possible,” said Jason Gorevic, chief executive officer of Teladoc Health in a statement.
Teladoc now works with thousands of hospitals in 130 countries and many major health insurers. The company also works with more than 5,000 employers.
“As we look to improve access to care for our employees and their families, the need for a solution that can address the whole person, both physical and mental health, has become clear,” said Benjamin Swig, director of healthcare innovation and strategy at Acadian, a Teladoc Health client, in a statement. “The move to integrated primary care, chronic disease management and behavioral support made sense, and we are excited to have all of these services accessible to our employees via a single application through Teladoc Health starting this year.”
In the past 20 years, Teladoc has expanded its virtual care capabilities. It acquired BetterHelp, a direct-to-consumer behavioral health platform, back in 2015 and it’s now the biggest driver of the company’s growth. In 2020, Teladoc picked up InTouch Health, a hospital-based telemedicine company and then it shelled out $18.5 billion for Livongo, a record in digital health.
Teladoc also has been focused on ramping up its Primary360 virtual primary care service
One in 3 Primary360 members are now using at least one additional Teladoc service, like mental health care or chronic care management, the company says. The percentage of individuals enrolled in chronic condition management solutions using two or more programs continues to grow, from 13% in 2020 to 34% in 2022.
According to the company’s data, consumers are increasingly using Teladoc’s virtual care services to support a range of health needs, including primary care (4x growth in visits year-to-date) and nutrition (+30% growth in visits YTD).