American Well, a Boston-based company which provides on-demand telehealth connectivity between doctors and patients, announced an $80 million Series C round on Tuesday. The funds not only exceeded their expectations, but will provide the company with further opportunities to work alongside health care providers to deliver the best possible care to patients, said Dr. Ido Schoenberg, the company’s co-founder and chairman.
American Well is a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform that lets consumers connect with a selection of of US board-certified clinicians for acute care, behavioral health, and nutrition counseling. Patients can access these doctors through the Web or the company’s mobile app, AmWell, which Schoneberg says has been downloaded over a million times since it was released in October of last year. “This is not Angry Birds, it’s not a game,” he said. “This is people who trust us with their health, it’s a very different undertaking.”
Since the American Well launched in 2007, the market for telehealth services is finally catching up with the vision that he and his co-founder and brother, Roy, had intended for the company, said Schoenberg. “In essence, what we’re trying to do is very simple to understand: Give people the opportunity to talk to their providers directly, but at a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost.”
He said overcoming regulatory hurdles and labyrinthine health care reimbursement structures proved difficult at the outset, but the company has now found partnerships in 46 states and the average user can connect with a doctor in 2.2 minutes. The company says that through their partnerships with health care providers, they now deliver their services to more than 19 million people.
Schoenberg said that as the population ages, creating a larger network of telehealth services will allow more people to age-in-place in their homes. He shared a story of checking his own mother-in-law out of an Israeli hospital and into telehealth care after concerns rose about a disease outbreak at the hospital. “I saw firsthand the fact that she could be in her own room, see her grandkids and feel optimistic about her future,” he said. “It was an important part of her recovery.”
“At the end of the day,” he continued, “what we want to do is use the platform to connect every doctor’s office so that they can treat their patients in their homes.”
Anthem Health and Jefferson Health System were among the health care companies participating in the investment round. American Well had initially raised $25 million in a 2010 round of financing, which was expanded to $37 million in 2012.