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Though Funding for Telehealth Is Declining, It Doesn't Mean All Virtual Care Isn't Investable


It's been reported more often now that funding for telehealth has decreased and it will only continue to do so into the year. Funding has likely decreased because the video/virtual care medium has become a commodity, according to Summus CEO and Founder, Julian Flannery.

It's been reported more often now that funding for telehealth has decreased and it will only continue to do so into the year. According to Summus CEO and Founder, Julian Flannery, funding has decreased mostly because the video/virtual care medium has become a commodity. However, now that it is everywhere and valuable, it doesn’t mean that virtual care isn’t investable.

In early January, Managed Healthcare Executive spoke with Julien Pham, MD, founder and managing partner of Third Culture Capital (3CC) in an episode of Tuning In to the C-Suite podcast. In the discussion, Pham addressed the concern of having to find other means of access to care when addressing disparities now that funding for innovations like telehealth are at a decline. Pham encouraged new ways of care delivery through complimentary technology but also collaboration and more in-person engagement.

Flannery responded and said virtual care solutions must be designed to support the patient and physician experience in deeper ways beyond just putting a screen between people.

"In healthcare there are use cases for in person care, like testing, scans, or surgical procedures; and, there are use cases for virtual care across all points of a healthcare journey – from initial diagnosis to checking in with physician teams on progress and altering treatment plans, as well as supporting PCPs and specialists with better management of their patients through access to high quality specialist," Flannery said.

By accelerating access to the best medical expertise, virtual specialty care has become an emerging category supporting efficiency in a system that is rife with inefficiency and complexity. With specialty care, cost and complexity are at the forefront. Virtual specialty care, when combined with elegant technology and human-centric support can deliver on meaningful ROI for buyers and thus is increasingly seeing strong investor interest, Flannery said.

Summus is transforming access to specialty care as the clinical front door to healthcare, affording more time and human connection to discuss health concerns and personalized care plans while driving better, more cost effective outcomes, he added.

In addition, with nearly one-third of specialty care not requiring in-person care, it's "incredibly likely that a virtual specialty care could have helped patients alleviate worry and make better decisions with their care," Flannery said.

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