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Uber Forays Into Rx Delivery, Lyra Health Hits $1.1B Valuation & more-The HSB Blog 9/01/20

Uber Health forays into prescription drug delivery

Event: (8/20) Uber and on-demand prescription platform NimbleRx, announced they are entering a partnership in the on-demand prescription drug delivery business.

Description: The Uber-NimbleRx partnership comes with big drugstore chains CVS Heath and Walgreens. With almost 30% of people never picking up their prescription medication from the pharmacy, the partnership with Uber allows effective and timely delivery of medications. Nimble has completed over 15,000 deliveries via partnership with Uber Health (currently a HIPAA- secure service with 1,500 partners for non-emergent medical transport).

Implications: Uber Direct provides easy delivery of medications which will promote medication adherence. Adults who lack transportation to medical care are much more likely to have chronic conditions, moreover, with absence of receiving medication, their conditions may escalate. NimbleRx offers next-day delivery to 40% of the population in the U.S and same-day delivery to an additonal 30%, with the increase in demand due to the pandemic, the new partnership will work to better meet the needs of patients.

Lyra Health hits $1.1 billion valuation, as Coronavirus boosts need for teletherapy

Event: (8/25) Lyra Health, a provider of mental health care benefits for employers became the latest healthcare technology startup to hit unicorn status by raising $110 million in Series D funding at a $1.1 billion valuation.

Background: Lyra, which offers an easy-to-use digital platform to connect people with mental health providers, has around 1.5 million members so far, adding more than 800,000 people since the start of the pandemic. Lyra’s solution combines one-on-one video sessions with digital exercises to reinforce cognitive behavioral therapy sessions.

Implications: Around one in four U.S. adults suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Because of COVID, economic uncertainty, and conversations around racial injustice, people are suffering from anxiety and depression even more. According to Rock Health, the digital health industry has raised $588M in the first half of 2020, which is 29% more than 2019, 42% more than 2018, and is on track to set annual records for overall funding and number of deals.

PatientPop raises $50M and adds three to board of directors

Event: (8/25) PatientPop, a healthcare tech company trying to automate many of the touch points of doctor-patient interactions, has raised $50 million in Series C funding.

Background: PatientPop helps practices attract patients online through a customized website and search engine optimization. It also offers a fully-digital experience with online scheduling, telehealth options and electronic medical record integration.

Implications: PatientPop will use these funds to continue to provide practices with the tools they need to enhance patient care in-person and online. Allowing providers to quickly adapt their digital strategy and presence to attract and retain patients, by deploying appropriate technology and tools to successfully operate their practices during COVID, will help maintain and replace volumes lost during the pandemic.

BJC HealthCare's experience-based strategy for digital transformation: Insights from CIO Jerry Fox

Event: (8/25) BJC’s healthcare team in St. Louis is working on experience-based strategies for developing digital solutions that will improve health experiences for stakeholders (patients, families, and caregivers).

Description: With the growth of COVID and the increase in virtual visits, BJC healthcare partnered with Washington University School of Medicine to transform user experience. This includes improving patient-provider telehealth platforms for scheduling, processing payments, and interactions, targeting patient experience, enhancing workflows that eliminate barriers for clinicians delivering care, and support for non-clinical care givers to enhance productivity and experience.

Implications: Curating technology to ensure that stakeholders (clinical and non-clinical) have optimal experience and outcomes has grown as digital care has increased. With the growing use of technology platforms during COVID, expectations are changing and expanding, pushing digital teams to ensure that they are meeting the growing needs of their users.

Tenet California hospitals launch telehealth ER screenings: 5 things to know

Event: (8/25) Tenet Health Center Coast, part of Tenet Healthcare, launched a new telehealth emergency room screening resource for patients suspected to have COVID or other medical emergencies, who are unsure of whether to seek medical attention or not.

Description: This Tele-ER service helps address concerns and challenges with going to the hospital during the pandemic. Patients can communicate with ER physicians for registration via video conference, smartphone, or computer to assess whether they need to come in for in-person care, diagnostic procedures, labs, or if the visit can be conducted virtually. The service is covered by Medicare.

Implications: The availability of this tele-ER platform will have a significant impact on healthcare delivery, especially during this COVID pandemic, where many patients have delayed care due to concerns of visiting healthcare facilities. With reimbursement provided through Medicare and commercial insurance services like this could expand the breadth of telehealth delivery while aiding accessibility of care particularly for seniors who are at risk.

USPS service delays are hitting some mail-order pharmacies and telehealth platforms harder than others

Event: (8/19) Recent reforms and services changes created by recently appointed Postmaster General Louis Dejoy have led to widespread service delays. These service delays are hurting certain mail-order pharmacies and telehealth platforms which rely on the USPS to fulfill orders given its relative cost-effectiveness to other methods.

Description: There have been many service disruptions for telehealth platforms due to recent reforms and administrative changes which have resulted in long-term concerns about prescription drug shipments handled by the USPS. Timely delivery and access to medications are extremely important for Americans especially during the pandemic, in order to avoid hospitalization, unnecessary emergency room visits, and increased costs if there is a need to use different carriers.

Implications: Changes in post office policies have created broad service issues for certain telehealth and online pharmacy platforms leading to later than anticipated or complete lack of delivery for platforms relying on first-class mail delivery. These USPS delivery issues have led to service issues, complaints, and replacements or refunds of as much as 5%. This could dramatically increase costs and threaten these companies’ business models as customers turn to other providers for their medications.


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