98point6 will tackle spiking COVID-19 demand with new hires, $43M fundraise

The company is tripling its physician pool by the end of April, and has launched a new patient dashboard.
By Dave Muoio
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Text-based primary care startup 98point6 has announced the close of a $43 million Series D funding round alongside new service expansions intended to address coronavirus-driven demand. The company did not name any of its investors in its release.

WHAT THEY DO

98point6 provides on-demand primary care services for consumers and health plans that can be accessed through the company's mobile app. The platform uses artificial intelligence and a text-based interface to collect information about the user and build a patient profile before matching them with a practitioner.

By doing so, the company's providers only need to step in and speak with the patient – again, through text – when it's time to diagnose, treat or answer specific health-related questions. Afterward, patients can review a personalized care plan within the app that includes prescription and lab work information. The service may also refer them to in-person care if appropriate.

With this raise, 98point6 says it has brought in $129 million from investors, has gotten more than 200 commercial contracts and has provided for more than 3 million users.

WHAT IT'S FOR?

The company's announcement focused on its latest efforts to handle a 200% clinic-volume spike it has fielded since the beginning of the year (40% of which it says comprise COVID-19 concerns). For instance, the company said it will be tripling the size of its physician workforce before the end of the month. It has also launched a new patient dashboard that allows users to review average wait times and other relevant information.

“Virtual care plays an important part in enabling self-quarantine and physical distancing to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Brad Younggren, chief medical officer of 98point6, said in a statement. “We applaud the selfless and tireless efforts of the entire medical community, especially those on the front line risking their own health and safety to treat patients. At 98point6, we will continue working side-by-side with our partners to respond as market needs evolve, and we’re as committed as ever to bringing accessible, quality care to patients across the country.”

MARKET SNAPSHOT

98point6 is one of a handful of app-based platforms seeking to provide scalable primary care. Other names in the space include K Health's symptom checker and telehealth services, which raised $48 million a few weeks back, and Eden Health's telehealth and insurance navigation platform, which expanded into a physical care provider last year.