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The company has seen a 200% increase in volume thanks to the coronavirus
One already noticeable effect of the coronavirus is an increase in the use of telemedicine services. It makes sense: if you need care, and it's not an emergency, why risk getting risk at a doctor's office or hospital? And if you are sick, why risk infecting others? It's a great resource, especially in times like these.
98point6, a provider of AI-driven virtual doctor visits, is one company that has been massive increases since this crisis began: the company's clinic volume has grown by more than 200 percent since the start of the year, with coronavirus-related concerns accounting for about 40 percent of all patient visits, the company revealed on Friday.
That's why it has announced that it will be tripling the number of physicians on its platform by the end of the year. To do that, it has raised a $43 million Series D round of funding, though its current investors are not being disclosed. The company last raised $50 million in October 2018 led by Goldman Sachs, and this latest round brings the company's total funding to $129 million.
"We have more than 80 doctors on the team today and physician hiring is a key area of focus given the surge in demand related to coronavirus," a spokesperson at 98point6 told VatorNews.
The funding will also be used to make improvements to its automated assistant.
Founded in 2015, 98point6 provides text-based primary care, allowing patients to connect to a doctor via a mobile app. After their visit, patients have a care plan that is sent to their phone, with professional diagnosis and treatment, while any prescriptions are sent to their local pharmacy.
The company uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to get information on the patient, as well as to learn from their visits, so it can provide better care as it gets smarter.
98point6 now has more than 200 commercial contracts with employers, health plans and retail partners, and is reaching than three million members.
98point6 responded quickly to the coronavirus outbreak, launching an automated screening features in January, only days after the first confirmed case in the United States. It has also been providing materials for its patients to get information about the virus, including what they should now, how to talk to their family about it and facts for kids, which it has been updating as new information comes in.
Along with the funding, the company also revealed that it is launching a patient dashboard, which allows patients to see average wait times from the previous day as an indicator of what they might be on a given day. The dashboard also includes 98point6's COVID-19 Assessment Tool, which helps patients understand if they have the virus, and what steps should be taken if they do.
“The priority for everyone right now is working together to ensure the health and safety of ourselves, our loved ones and our communities,” Robbie Cape, chief executive officer and co-founder of 98point6, said in a statement.
“Challenging times like this often bring out the best in all of us, and there is no greater example of that than what we’re seeing from medical professionals and every individual practicing physical distancing to stop the spread. We’re going to get through this, stronger, together.”
(Image source: 98point6.com)
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