Telehealth provider Amwell announced this week its latest virtual care platform, called Converge, designed to improve healthcare stakeholder connectivity through third-party device integrations.
Sharing the news at its annual Client Forum, Amwell said its new platform is flexible and scalable and is designed to be simple and reliable. Converge was built with an open architecture to support integrations and upgrades, according to the announcement.
“We realize that transformation is all about partnership and collaboration,” Dr. Ido Schoenberg, chairman and co-CEO of Amwell, said in a statement.
“By bringing together Amwell’s best-in-class solutions with those from across the ecosystem, we are uniquely able to deliver a solution that both supports a long list of capabilities across the full care continuum, from episodic to longitudinal care, and enables native connectivity between all players. We also understand that these players have unique needs, and these needs will evolve, so we have built the Converge platform to be highly scalable, modular and future-ready, giving clients the ability to reimagine new ways of using telehealth over time.”
Central to Converge’s purpose is its capability to host and operate third-party applications and devices. Upon its launch, it supports artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies by Google Cloud, TytoCare’s handheld exam kit featuring built-in visual guidance technology, virtual second opinions powered by Amwell’s partnership with the Cleveland Clinic and wearable remote patient monitoring through Biobeat.
WHY THIS MATTERS
With this launch, Amwell is building on telehealth’s rapid expansion over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the early stages of the pandemic last March, telehealth visits increased 154% compared with the same period in 2019, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With its rapid growth, telehealth has morphed from a niche segment of healthcare into a service option that could turn $250 billion of U.S. healthcare spend into virtual care, according to McKinsey & Company.
“Digital distribution of care is here. Telehealth morphed, almost overnight, from a promising technology to an existential platform in the operation of healthcare – alongside EHRs, claim systems and e-prescribing," Schoenberg said. "We are witnessing a new consensus that the future care of any one patient will inevitably involve a mix of physical, digital and asynchronous/AI-based care.
“We designed the Converge platform to support, simplify, and delight patients, clinicians, and the healthcare tenants around them, as they rapidly embrace this new balance of care. Its open architecture invites customers and innovators to extend their reach, and all of us to imagine a more graceful healthcare experience, with technology on our side.”
Along with the announcement of Converge, Amwell also teased its upcoming Home TV offering, in collaboration with Solaborate, which is designed to bring hospital care into the home setting.
THE LARGER TREND
Driven by the uptick in telehealth usage over 2020, Amwell had a big year. It raked in $245.3 million in revenue for the year, representing a 65% revenue increase year over year.
Seeing the success of virtual care companies, numerous tech companies have created telehealth offerings to try to get a piece of the pie. This month alone has seen Verizon launch a telehealth platform called BlueJeans Telehealth and Doximity announce new telehealth features for its Dialer offering.