Forrester has curated a list of companies that are delivering virtual care services and support for health insurers, healthcare providers, employers, and consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some vendors initially offered temporary discounts or free services, many have discontinued these practices.
From self-triage to virtual care, these services allow healthcare organizations (HCOs) to screen patients to ensure those most at risk are prioritized for care and help keep the healthcare of vulnerable patients safely managed in their homes. With demand for virtual care visits expected to surge beyond 1 Billion visits in 2020, HCOs need to rely on additional mitigation strategies such as self-triage to increase capacity.
We will be updating this list periodically as new services become available. If your company fits into one of these categories and is providing complementary or discounted support during the pandemic, we want to hear from you. Send an email to [email protected]
These solutions offering screening capabilities to help consumers determine when to seek care, which reduces the number of patients flooding emergency rooms, and protects healthcare workers from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.
Buoy Health offers self-triage capabilities for COVID-19 and beyond. Most recently the team partnered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to provide a tailored experience for citizens based on their insurance coverage. Not insured? Buoy will recommend connecting with Teladoc or American Well for additional support. Both vendors are offering discounted services to consumers.
Infermedica partners with employers, health insurers, and providers to help triage the symptoms of patients and direct them to the most appropriate setting of care. Infermedica offers a conversational interface-based offering as well as an API and development library for developers looking to create COVID-19 solutions for their HCO.
Well known for its efforts in voice skills across the healthcare industry, Orbita recently entered the self-triage space. Its initial foray is focused on COVID-19 and is being deployed across multiple sectors of the industry. Using content from multiple sources including the CDC and Mayo Clinic, Orbita launched three new omnichannel solutions: COVID-19 Navigator, COVID-19 Health Check, and COVID-19 Employee Health Check.
These are consumer facing solutions (accessible to the general population) that provide information about COVID-19 and directional guidance on next steps. HCOs that are not able to take advantage of self-triage solutions can point customers to these offerings as an initial screening for those not facing life threatening symptoms.
Apple partnered with the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and FEMA to offer a public facing option, providing guidance on what symptoms to look for, how people can protect themselves and others from contracting COVID-19 and what to do if they have symptoms. The conversational interface will recommend a setting of care but does not connect back into local or discounted services for consumers. Apple offers both an app for iPhone users as well as a website for the general public. In addition to the app and website, Siri received a refresh and will prompt users with guidance or connect them to additional resources.
Microsoft partnered with the CDC to offer a public facing option, providing guidance on what symptoms to look for, how patients can protect themselves, and others from contracting COVID-19 and what to do if symptoms arise. The conversational interface will recommend a setting of care but does not connect back into local or discounted services available to consumers.
These solutions are offering free trial periods and discounts to HCOs looking to stand up their virtual care services to reach patients in their homes. Some of these vendors were identified through Forrester’s Wave methodologies as Leaders and these have been called out below.
Named a Strong Performer in The Forrester New Wave™: Virtual Care Solutions For Digital Health, Q2 2019. On-demand care, delivered through a text-based experience, 98point6 is offering a free assessment tool for consumers as well as ongoing virtual care services.
AmWell (American Well)
Amwell offers a virtual care solution that can be either staffed by an HCO’s own providers or the Amwell Medical Group; helping bolster existing provider teams. The AmWell team also curated a set of resources for HCOs looking to stand up their virtual care services amid the pandemic, providing guidance on best practices.
This platform was deemed a Leader in The Forrester New Wave™: Virtual Care Solutions For Digital Health, Q2 2019. Providers will benefit from access to Bright.MD’s screening tool which will help patients assess their symptoms, determine whether additional care is needed, or get guidance on how to treat symptoms at home. SmartExam is an asynchronous, non-video online telehealth solution that allows patients to access care from anywhere. EHR integration helped set this solution apart from the pack in our virtual care Wave report and will lead to less documentation burden for providers.
A virtual care platform that is staffed by emergency trained providers, this team is offering a free self-triage tool for public use. The service offers a text-first workflow for employers and health insurance plans.
The team provides access to multiple services including behavioral health and some specialties. During the pandemic, they are offering discounted access to virtual care for consumers as well as a free assessment tool patients can complete to determine if they need to seek additional care.
Named a Strong Performer in The Forrester New Wave™: Virtual Care Solutions For Digital Health, Q2 2019. Teladoc Health collaborates with the health insurers, employers, and health systems to deliver virtual care. In addition to virtual care support, the team has published resources to help providers just getting started with virtual care during the pandemic.
Offers a virtual care platform that can be white labeled by HCOs. The team has also put together resources on best practices to help providers get started with virtual care and educate their patients on the benefits of this care delivery model.
Mental Health Support
Mental health support is critical during the pandemic as consumers face anxiety, stress, and loneliness during a time of uncertainty. Consumers can access virtual care through the support of licensed therapists as well as coaches. Leverage these offerings to support employees, members, and patients grappling with existing and new concerns during the pandemic.
Ginger is offering free mental health support to the front-line healthcare workers fighting the pandemic. HCOs can contact Ginger to establish a connection for their staff. Send an email to [email protected]
Talkspace connects consumers to a licensed therapist (daily responses only guaranteed 5 days a week). Talkspace has developed a tailored experience for subscribers managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discounts are offered but appear to change weekly.
Driving Innovation Forward Together
In addition to these resources, we have also seen organizations come together to accelerate innovation to drive business growth and combat the global pandemic. The COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, an open innovation effort pioneered by the Mayo Clinic’s John Halamka, M.D., focuses on crowd-sourcing capabilities from the private sector and using adaptive intelligence to create evidence-based responses to the COVID-19 health crisis. To date, the coalition has started testing innovations to increase COVID-19 testing capacity, coordinate early therapies, and accelerate vaccine developments. If your firm would like to join, the coalition is looking for more participants.
These solutions provide benefits well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and play an integral part to a successful Digital Front Door strategy. Choosing the right partners now will help today and, in the future, as you look to optimize your investments.
Forrester’s research on the Healthcare Digital Front Door provides guidance on many of these vendors and more. Have more questions? Reach out to schedule an inquiry.
Paul-Julien Giraud contributed to this blog.
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