California-based telehealth provider InTouch Health inked a letter of intent alongside Rite Aid to explore how the virtual care platform can be implemented by the retail pharmacy chain to boost customers’ access to care.
Specifically, the deal looks to bring InTouch’s technology to health kiosks owned by Rite Aid. These kiosks could be placed in Rite Aid’s pharmacies, or installed in “alternative care sites within communities,” according to a release from InTouch announcing the partnership.
“In a time where our industry is rapidly evolving, we see an opportunity to bring virtual care to patients in a whole new way that intersects with patients in convenient locations like Rite Aid pharmacies,” Joseph M. DeVivo, CEO of InTouch Health, said in a statement. “At InTouch Health, we believe virtual care can be the bridge of consistent patient engagement that not only increases access to care, but also drives improved care coordination and decreases cost for all stakeholders. We applaud Rite Aid’s commitment to exploring telehealth solutions and look forward to bringing our combined vision to life in this new era.”
Rite Aid is no stranger to telemedicine kiosks. In 2016, the corporation scooped up a number of kiosks on the cheap from former business partner HealthSpot during its final days. At the time, the company said that it still believed in the value of telemedicine and would continue to explore the service, a claim that it appears to have made good on with this most recent deal.
“Rite Aid has long believed in telehealth as an opportunity to improve the level of care we can offer our patients,” Jocelyn Konrad, EVP of pharmacy at Rite Aid, said in a statement. “We are excited to be working with InTouch, a well-established telehealth company, to create a solution that will potentially help us provide our patients and communities with access to quality, convenient healthcare.”
InTouch was also at the heart of another recent, albeit more charitable, announcement. According to a release from the World Telehealth Initiative — a newly established nonprofit organization looking to bring telehealth expertise to worldwide communities in need — InTouch will be donating its virtual care devices and access to its virtual network to the effort. Further, any physicians already using InTouch’s platform can volunteer their time to provide virtual care
Direct Relief, a nonprofit provider of charitable medicines based in the US, was also named as a partner of the global initiative.
“By leveraging the innovative technology at InTouch Health, we plan to focus on saving and improving as many lives as possible through the Initiative’s work and those we partner with,” Sharon Allen, executive director of the World Telehealth Initiative, said in a statement. “Through our past collaborations with Direct Relief and InTouch Health, we’ve already successfully begun three programs in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Haiti. Uniting the World Telehealth Initiative with InTouch Health and Direct Relief demonstrates our global scalability and the operability of the technology to provide relief efforts and services to communities that would otherwise not have the same access to quality care.”
This year has been a busy one for InTouch. In early January the telehealth platform announced the acquisition of TruClinic, signaling a potential expansion from the company’s prior focus on enterprise. A few months later InTouch also purchased another telemedicine platform, Reach Health, in a move that officials said would help InTouch tackle telehealth programs across the continuum of care.