The platform saw a rising need to provide aid to seniors, especially as many were forced to experience self-isolation and social distancing during the pandemic. A survey of more than 18,000 adults aged 65 and older in 11 high-income countries showed that senior citizens in the United States faced greater disruptions in their healthcare than their peers in other high-income countries (Murray, 2020). This unique circumstance provided an opportunity for VitalTech to address the gap in healthcare services and was able to partner with AT&T to support hospitals by virtually connecting physicians and their patients to deliver care like diagnosing medical conditions to help keep senior populations safer (VitalTech Affiliates, 2020).
In November of 2020 they raised $3million from Tech Mahindra, an India-based IT and business outsourcing service in exchange for 6 percent stake in the company. Tech Mahindra also was a partner with AT&T which furthered the growing companies gains. In addition to this strategic partnership was Tech Mahindra acquiring a majority stake in the consulting company HCI Group for nearly $90 million, which allowed it to incorporate VitalTech’s platform to HCI services. In 2019 they saw $400,000 in revenue in their first year and an additional #3-4 million in the following years (Cummings, 2021). Since 2020, they they have raised an additional $10 million and landed an $8 million Series A round led by Concord Health Partners. They then received $2.2 million from Ziegler Link which allowed them to expand into COVID monitoring spaces (Cummings, 2021).
In particular, they created a targeted sales and marketing campaign for Remote Patient Monitoring. Ernie Lance, EVP of sales at VitalTech developed “RPM tools that targeted patients with diabetes, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, conditions that cost the money money and causing last problems for health systems” VitalTech’s approach was to focus on conditions that not only cause complications with COVID but outside of COVID are expensive and put strain on the healthcare system. Their goal to reduce readmissions to the hospital landed them contract with large health care systems that caused them to have 900% growth in 2020 alone (VitalTech Affiliates, 2021).
The company used a cloud-based platform, Bluetooth-enabled device and user-centered apps to allow patients to be treated at home. The push to not go to the doctor’s and the reluctance to visit the hospital created an enormous demand for a solution to replace face-to-face physician to patient transactions with something safer, remote and video-based (VitalTech Affiliates, 2021). While some telehealth companies saw an investment in providing readily accessible health data and remote care, VitalTech leaned into proactively managing patient care (Jerich, 2020). They used Bluetooth low-energy Activities of Daily Living (ADL) tags in the homes of their patients as a way to track trends and gather data to then feed it to healthcare providers to be the ears and eyes of the doctor. This electronic health record created a baseline for what normal looked like for a patient (VitalTech Affiliates, 2021).
This ADL feature provided solutions for a population not native to technology, those without internet service and those living in remote areas. The technology along with the partnership with AT&T allowed the company to provide a tablet for virtual care to patients. This allowed for reliability and connectivity (VitalTech Affiliates, 2021). The partnership allowed for equitable access across various patient populations
While investment in telehealth technologies was strong pre-COVID despite slow patient adoption, however, that changed drastically and quickly at the start of COVID. VitalTech reported 50% week-over-week growth in service the week after stay at home orders were implemented (CBS Insights, 2021).. And then President Trump and the Department of Health and Human Services expanded Medicare telehealth coverage in March of 2020 under the Telehealth Government Funding Package. VitalTech capitalized on the move towards telemedicine (Jerich, 2020). In 2019, 43% of health centers were capable of providing telemedicine but by November 2020, 95% of providers reported delivering virtual healthcare services during the outbreak (Bestenny, 2021). A recent analysis of telehealth growth showed that the industry increased 38 times from the pre-Covi-19 baseline (Bestenny, 2021).
A McKinsey study showed that venture capitalist firms picked up on the telehealth trend and grasped the opportunity to invest by putting more than three times more money into digital health startups in 2020 than they did in 2017. This investment led to the improvement of infrastructure and the familiarity of services such as telehealth tech, continuous and remote diagnostics, remote mental healthcare, virtual fitness, and aging-in-place technologies could continue to grow even after the pandemic subsides (Murray, 2020).. Furthermore, during the pandemic, almost half (48%) of all US physicians said they had treated patients virtually, according to a recent survey. On the patient side, 60% of American consumers said they were more willing to try telehealth services due to the Covid-19 pandemic (Jerich, 2020).
While there are still some perceptions of technology security that need to be addressed to sustain consumer and provider virtual health adoptions, VitalTech is evolving to optimize hybrid virtual and in-person care delivery. They are also leaning on AT&T for logistics around shipping, kitting, and staging, as well as looking to buy more hardware like a hub or gateway to complement the existing tablet.
“25 Industries & Technologies That Will Shape the Post-Virus World.” CB Insights Research, CB Insights, 14 Dec. 2021, https://www.cbinsights.com/research/report/industries-tech-shaping-world-post-covid/#telehealth.
Cummings, Kevin. “VitalTech, a Plano Digital Health Care Company, Lands $3 Million to Accelerate Growth.” Bizjournals.com, 12 Nov. 2020, https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/inno/stories/fundings/2020/11/12/vitaltech.html.
Kelly, Milley. “VitalTech Offers Senior Living Facilities Free Virtual Care and Telehealth Platform to Combat COVID-19.” VitalTech Offers Senior Living Facilities Free Virtual Care and Telehealth Platform to Combat COVID-19, 19 Mar. 2020, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vitaltech-offers-senior-living-facilities-free-virtual-care-and-telehealth-platform-to-combat-covid-19-301027174.html.
Jerich, Kat. “RPM Market Will Double in next Five Years, Predict Stakeholders.” Healthcare IT News, HIMMS Media, 6 Aug. 2020, https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/rpm-market-will-double-next-five-years-predict-stakeholders.
McKinsey. The Future of Healthcare: Value Creation through Next Generation Business Models, January 4, 2021 www.mckinsey.com
McKinsey. Telehealth: A Quarter Trillion Dollar Post-Covid-19 Reality?, May 29, 2020. www.mckinsey.com
ATI Advisory for the Better Medicare Alliance and the Center for Innovation in Medicare Advantage. Telehealth During a Time of Crisis: Medicare Experiences Amid COVID-19. July 2020. www.bettermedicarealliance.org.