HealthTap sets sights on employer customers

By Jonah Comstock
12:22 pm
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healthtap primeIt can be a little hard to keep track of exactly what Palo Alto-based HealthTap does these days. What began as a doctor Q&A service that has since expanded into doctor ratings and app curation, as well as launching its HealthTap Prime service for video visits, which also helps connect patients to lab tests via an integration with Quest Diagnostics. Now the digital health company is tackling the employer market with HealthTap Compass, a repackaging of HealthTap Prime which also adds a provider directory.

The company has announced its first customer for the product, Flex (formerly known as Flextronics). Flex is known in digital health circles as the former electronics supplier for Jawbone and current supplier for Fitbit. In fact, the company is implicated in at least one of the ongoing legal squabbles between the two fitness tracker competitors. Flex will fully cover HealthTap Compass for its 200,000 employees.

"HealthTap Compass is -- think about it as Prime plus," Healthtap CEO Ron Gutman told MobiHealthNews, referring to the company's existing direct-to-consumer telemedicine service. "[Employees get] unlimited access to the [educational] content; unlimited consultations with doctors 24-7 via mobile or web connection -- text, video, or voice, your choice; and access to our engagement module, which is reminders from doctors, notifications, newsletters, surveys. Plus we [connect patients] to the real world doctors that their insurance provides and the other benefits Flex provides to their employees, so basically we become the hub for any employee activity. What we’re doing is replacing the benefits card. This is not just telemedicine; telemedicine is a very small part of what we’re doing. It’s using your mobile devices as a remote control for all your health needs."

Gutman didn't give hard numbers on current HealthTap Prime subscribers, but he said the uptake wasn't bad -- the enterprise opportunity is just better. He implied that the deal is generating millions for HealthTap.

"If you have a population like 200,000 at Flex, obviously, from a business perspective, or other [potential customers] with a million employees, we’re talking tens of millions of dollars immediately, so we’re very excited about the enterprise opportunity," he said. "Because once you get into business you’re just ramping up with revenues very rapidly."

Two of HealthTap's launches from 2013 -- TalkToDocs, a "Siri for health" and AppRx, an app curation and prescription platform, appear to be more or less shuttered. HealthTap still uses the AppRx brand for annual reports on app usage sourced from doctors on their platform, but the promised consumer-facing platform for app reviews from doctors doesn't seem to exist in the app store or on HealthTap's website. Other HealthTap products, like HealthTap Prime, HealthTap Concierge, and RateRx are apparently still going strong, while still others like Top Doctor Insights, may still be a part of HealthTap's offering under a different name.

Gutman said iterating and being willing to fail are important parts of HealthTap's strategy. He said that various attempted products have left the company with lasting assets in the form of a network of 73,000 physicians and a database of more than 3.5 billion doctor answers that are available for customers to browse.

"For me innovation is trying things, seeing how they work. Some of them do, some of them don’t," Gutman said. "The core product remains the same. If you look at what we've really advocated from the very beginning, connecting to doctors 24-7 remains the core of what we’re doing, whether synchronously or asynchronously, whether free or paid. ... I can’t tell you we have 100 percent hit rate on every feature and functionality that we try, but we make sure we keep the things that work really well, taking the things that for some reason didn’t get traction and just learning from them. I always tell my team here we have two modes at HeathTap: We have success and we have learning."

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