American Well and Philips bring technology and telehealth together in new partnership

By Erin Dietche | Jan 8, 2018 | This story originally appeared in MedCityNews

 

Two well-known companies in the healthcare space are joining forces.

Philips and American Well have launched a new partnership aimed at delivering virtual care services.

As part of the collaboration, American Well’s telehealth solution will be integrated into a number of Philips’ consumer and digital health solutions.

In a phone interview, American Well CEO and chairman Ido Schoenberg said the impetus behind the partnership is simple. “We are completely aligned in our vision,” he said.

This vision centers around a new model that people will access more and more of their care at home. Patient data is then analyzed, and it will be up to providers to close the loop with patients.

“Essentially, Philips and American Well both realized it takes a village,” Schoenberg noted. “You need different devices, you need providers and you need technology.”

To kick things off, phase one of the partnership will zero in on bringing American Well’s telehealth service to Philips’ uGrow app, which is geared toward new parents. The platform allows parents to track their baby’s sleeping patterns, height and weight, among other metrics. It also lets them share data with and get advice from healthcare professionals.

With the addition of American Well’s capabilities, parents can use the uGrow app to have a virtual consultation with a provider. The cost of using the telemedicine service varies depending on the type of provider and the length of the visit.

This initial uGrow phase, however, is only the beginning of what the companies plan to do as far as integration of services.

“While this is certainly a very exciting start, it’s a start,” Schoenberg said. “There are plans to do this in other areas.”

Through the partnership, Philips will also join the American Well Exchange clinical services marketplace, which allows for greater delivery of services. Philips’ telehealth programs can be redistributed to health systems and health plans within American Well’s system.

“Essentially, a lot of telehealth today is done in confined places,” Schoenberg said. “As consumers, of course, we want more. This opens it up to a lot of participants to create much greater value.”

Looking ahead, Schoenberg is optimistic about the future.

“This is going to be a long road,” he noted. “There’s so much that we can do together.”

In addition to opportunities for other U.S.-based collaborations between the companies, Schoenberg pointed toward creating potential programs in other countries.

Aside from this latest news, both organizations have been busy as of late. American Well announced a partnership with Medtronic focused on using telehealth to aid chronic, comorbid patients. Philips recently acquired VitalHealth in an attempt to boost its population health strategy.

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