At the American Telemedicine Association conference in Orlando today, telehealth provider American Well announced two developments the company has taken to expand their footprint, both in regards to consumer accessibility as well as ease of use for providers and health systems using the platform.
In a move to nudge telemedicine more firmly into traditional healthcare, American Well unveiled a new enterprise service called AW10, which contains over 100 new features specific to providers to make their experience with American Well’s platform simpler and more comprehensive. The software streamlines the enrollment and verification process for new doctors, so they can start delivering live visits within minutes. To get patients equally ready, AW10 offers automated and workflow optimization features including insurance verification, automated scheduling, prescribing, payments and notifications. The AW10 toolset also allows for doctors to move easily between automated and manual prescribing, and offers a revamped coding module to aide with consistent reimbursement.
“Part of our transition in making ourselves more accessible is blending ourselves into the delivery of healthcare organizations and provider networks,” American Well CEO Dr. Roy Schoenberg told MobiHealthNews. “A lot of the key capabilities are about making it easy to implement a new telehealth practice. Physician time is short, so we want to guarantee that when they want to sign up, it’s all there when they actually start. Once they are there, it’s all about making everything naturally woven together so they can use telehealth as part of the way they practice medicine.”
As American Well already has a significant presence – with over 250 healthcare partners across the country – Schoenberg said the latest offerings represent a maturation of telemedicine technologies.
"We want to unlock how natural telehealth can be in a physician's practice and a patient's lifestyle," Schoenberg said. "Giving tools that make it a seamless fit has even more significant implication than wider availability."
Also, the company finally unveiled details of their partnership with Samsung; a collaboration they shared limited information on just a couple of months ago at HIMSS 17. At that time, both companies shared that the partnership would leverage Samsung’s leadership position in consumer electronics with American Well’s enterprise telehealth service called the Exchange. Launched by American Well last year, the Exchange is a virtual marketplace of sorts that connects payers and providers who use white-labeled American Well telehealth services to offer their care to one another.
Now American Well’s platform is fully embedded into to Samsung’s newly revamped health app, Samsung Health, and can be accessed on many Samsung devices including the Galaxy S8 and S8+, which just came out last week. Under the “Experts” tab on Samsung Health, users can have on-demand video visits with any doctor who practices with American Well.
While the Samsung integration will no doubt greatly expand their presence among consumers, Schoenberg emphasized that the partnership is more than a move to get more users.
“Of course it has great trajectory, this will impact millions of phones, but that is just one simplistic way of saying we will be much more available to consumers,” Schoenberg said. “But what we are really doing with Samsung is putting a door to electronic healthcare into the operating system of our devices. It’s not just American Well that people have access to through Samsung, but everyone on the Exchange.”
Schoenberg said the Samsung collaboration helps push American Well’s goal of making telemedicine an essential, integral part of healthcare rather than a novel modality.
“With the Exchange and more access through Samsung Health, we are allowing Americans to interact with brands they have trusted for decades – their hospital systems, insurers, provider networks and the like – and in doing so, we are bringing telehealth to the point where it facilitates traditional healthcare rather than acting as a separate destination,” he said. “That’s where we really part ways from those who create new destinations under their own brand.”