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Before COVID, telehealth was an underused tool, but once the pandemic hit, and virtual care became the only way to see a doctor, suddenly it was everything. The problem for a lot of healthcare organizations is that they didn't have their own solutions to offer their patients, and instead had to turn to unsecure platforms like Zoom to provide video calls.
OnCall Health is a company offering healthcare providers access to virtual care software, enabling them to easily launch their own virtual health care programs, under their own brand.
"Whether it's a healthcare organization that already offers their patients in-person appointments, and is now looking to deliver virtual appointment options, or if they have access to a network of healthcare providers and are looking to launch a virtual healthcare service as a new revenue stream, we power the full digital healthcare provider and patient experience. And we do it in a way that is highly configurable to our customers’ desired branding and workflow," Nicholas Chepesiuk, founder and CEO of OnCall Health, told me in an interview.
On Tuesday, the company announced it has raised $6 million in Series A funding, bringing the company's total funding to date to over $8 million. Base10 Partners led the round with participation from OnCall Health’s existing investors, including Ripple Ventures, Panache Ventures, and Stout Street Capital.
Launched in 2016, the Toronto-based OnCall Health doesn't do anything direct-to-consumer; the company provides technology to existing healthcare organizations, making it so they can be up and running with their own branded solution in a matter of weeks with no setup costs.
Some of their organizations that use OnCall include pharma companies, which might want to start offering virtual appointments more directly to consumers, as well as with healthcare insurance companies, allowing them offer a solution to employers. The company also works with conventional hospital that are looking to offer a user experience for their virtual care appointments, as well as with small practices, which can sign up and be up and running to schedule video appointments with their patients in minutes.
The company's main focus, though, are what Chepesiuk calls "large and complex healthcare organizations with brands," which works with to map out their workflow and give them control over a lot of the branding of the solution on all devices.
"In a matter of days, we uniquely allow them to become the publisher of their own iPhone, Android and web apps, so their own branded solution on all devices, that have no mention of OnCall health in the experience. The solution that they end up with is very configurable to how they want the provider and patient experiences to look," he said.
OnCall helps organizations with things like patient scheduling, as well as accepting on-demand or scheduled video, phone or text-based health care appointments. If the organization has their own staff that are scheduling on behalf of different health care providers across different business units, time zones and spoken languages, OnCall can help them manage and coordinate all as well.
Before COVID, a lot of what OnCall was doing was explaining the benefits of incorporating virtual care into their operations to improve access for their patients, Chepesiuk told me, but post-COVID, most healthcare organizations needed to be able to provide video calls due to increase demand, so they adopted services like Zoom and Doxy.me.
"Those are simple tools that are really just based around sending out a link to a secure video conference. And once an organization starts to hit a lot of scale with their virtual health programs, like let's say they're doing thousands of appointments a day, using a software that simple starts to become more challenging because there needs to be a lot more coordination done," he said.
"There needs to be a lot of other features around patient intake, around billing, around pushing data to other systems like existing their patient databases or electronic medical record systems, for example. And that's kind of where we come in is around these more complex programs that are doing a lot more scale."
As a result of the pandemic, OnCall has tripled its revenue and its number of customers; it now supports over 600 healthcare organizations and more than 7,000 primary care, mental health, and paramedical service providers. Meanwhile, utilization of its technology went up six times what it was before.
"We really focus on monetization and helping them launch new revenue streams. So, with most of our clients, there's a big focus on the billing aspect of the system and allowing our customers to bill their patients out of pocket, direct bill insurers or even introduce new subscription-based models to their patient-base that they otherwise were not able to do before."
Using this new funding, OnCall Health says it plans to support its expansion, with new and existing customers across North America. That means growing its product and marketing teams; the company currently has 30 employees and plans to double that number.
"We have over 7,000 health care providers using OnCall today; we plan on getting to 70,000 health care providers in the next two years, by doing a few things: one, building out a self-serve way for any healthcare organization to rapidly launch or embed their own OnCall-powered, virtual healthcare experience with their own brand or workflow," said Chepesiuk.
The company also plans to build out its available integrations and developer tools, and to grow its partnerships with payers and complimentary software vendors.
"OnCall today is really a SaaS solution that provides the full, end-to-end experience on all devices, including mobile apps, for our customers. But we're starting to work a lot more with digital health startups and high growth organizations that already have their own software engineers and they already have some form of their own patient interface. And so, for us, we're really looking to offer more tools for engineers to accelerate the development of telehealth solutions into their existing software by launching more API and SPK-based offerings."
Ultimately, Chepesiuk's goal with OnCall is for it to be the default platform that providers use when they’re looking to offer virtual appointment options, whether they are a small practice or a large brand.
"We're gonna see, in my view, the adoption of virtual care technology will be on the same level as the adoption of electronic medical record technology, where you’re seeing practically every healthcare organization, and health care provider, has some form of DRM or electronic health record technology in in their operation. And we think that virtual care will be on the same level as that, where every healthcare provider is going to have virtual appointment options as part of their practice."
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