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Teladoc Eyes Global Telehealth Network With Advance Medical Deal

Teladoc's purchase of Spain-based Advance Medical gives the telehealth company an inroads to the lucrative Asian and Latin American markets and continues a string of high-profile partnerships in the digital health industry.

Source: ThinkStock

By Eric Wicklund

- Teladoc is looking to expand its reach with the acquisition of a Spain-based telehealth company that will open up markets in Latin America and Asia.

The New York-based direct-to-consumer telehealth giant whose specialty to date has been telephone-based mHealth services has announced the purchase of Advance Medical for some $352 million. The acquisition expands Teladoc’s footprint to 125 countries – including high-growth countries like China and Brazil – adds new services that include virtual medical home and clinical risk assessment, and increases the number of languages served to 20.

“This acquisition advances our strategy to continually expand our product portfolio, as well as our operational footprint in attractive global markets,” company president Jason Gorevic said in a press release issued this morning.

The news continues a trend of major acquisitions as telehealth and telemedicine providers look to break away from individual service lines and develop enterprise platforms. At the American Telemedicine Association conference in Chicago in April, American Well announced the acquisition of Avizia, while InTouch Health announced that it was acquiring REACH Health.

Teladoc has been aggressive in expanding its platform, a point emphasized by the company’s new Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Lewis Levy, during interviews at the ATA conference. Roughly one year ago the company purchased Best Doctors, an online medical consultation service for complex cases. And at the HIMSS18 conference this year in Las Vegas, the company announced an expanded partnership with Microsoft to offer its services on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

The Advance Medical deal positions Teladoc to be a player in the private health insurance markets in Asia and Latin America, which is reportedly double the size of the US market and is expected to double that size by 2025. They’re also going after the estimated 14.1 million employees of US-based companies living outside the country.

“With the addition of Advance Medical, Teladoc builds on its successful track record of acquiring and integrating companies with common purpose, complementary capabilities and access to new markets,” the company press release continues. “Combining Advance Medical’s suite of international clinical capabilities with Teladoc’s technology and operational scale, the company is now uniquely equipped to meet the needs of U.S. multinational employers, for whom one third of all employees live abroad.”

Company officials say they also want to create a single point of access for mHealth services, including specialist consults.  More than 36 percent of those around the globe seeking a specialist consult, they note, wait more than four weeks for an appointment.

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