Online Therapy: Telehealth’s Next Weapon

The global pandemic has set telehealth companies (companies that specialize in providing platforms for remote care of patients) on a record breaking course. Look at Teladoc, symbol TDOC: NYSE, for example, which was the superstar of this whole situation being the best known public company in this area which has seen an increase of 50% in usage and a similar trend in its stock which sat comfortably at $25 in 2018 and hit $250 at the top of the pandemic.

Another medium-large telehealth provider in the U.S is AmWell, formerly known as American Well, traded under AMWL: NYSE, with a market cap of close to 3bn and partnerships with tech giants such as Apple, Cisco and Philipps. AmWell only started trading in the stock market in some of the worst times of the pandemic (September 2020) and its stock has lost traction since then as the world came back into a certain degree of normality, which we hare on InvestingTips360 believe may be a false notion, and hence we believe the stock will recover.

More recognizable names in this space include 111 (YiYaoDian), a Chinese leader in telehealth, which is traded as YI:NASDAQ, and GigCapital2 (GIX: NYSE) which is a SPAC that has swollen up several major companies in this space.

Now that telehealth services are starting to become widely acceptable by physicians, governments and most importantly – patients, the battle between these telehealth companies moves on to the next frontier, namely – online therapy treatments online. The concept is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require any additional development on top of “normal” telehealth. A video chat that enables a licensed therapist to have a normal treatment session with the patient, just remotely.

It seems like people across the globe are liking the concept, and online therapy websites are brimming with promise and are already treating more than 10m people collectively.

Why are these so popular, arguably even more than traditional telemedicine services (relatively)? It enables people who may have not gone on a therapy if it would have required them to go somewhere to get treated. It enables people who are too shy or too conservative in the perception to seek for an online therapy anonymously. It also enables people who could not have afforded to pay for a “standard” therapy session to enjoy highly discounted rates.

This is exactly why companies like the aforementioned Teladoc and AmWell are putting significant effort into their online therapy platforms – TDOC owns BetterHelp which is probably the world’s biggest service of its kind, while AmWell just offers online therapy within it’s main platform. In BetterHelp you can find 20,000+ licensed therapists, with an average price of $90-$120 per week (with discounts for those eligible for financial aid), with 98% positive reviews across the internet and approximately 3m users. In AmWell you’ll pay $109-$129 per meeting, with only 350 lichened therapists, 95% satisfaction from past customers, and the company does not advertise the total number of users on their platform but based on the data we would assume far less than Betterhelp’s.

We believe that online therapy services will be a significant part of any telehealth company’s portfolio of assets and that online therapies could in fact replace traditional therapy over the course of time.

James Rabinovich
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