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Global Health Crisis Shines Light on the Future of the Telehealth Industry

NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With the pandemic continuing to spread throughout the United States and the world, the need for alternative healthcare options is becoming increasingly clear. Since a state of emergency was declared in March 2020, virtual healthcare visits have increased dramatically, rising by 2,938% between November 2019 and November 2020, according to data published in the American Journal of Managed Care. "While many health plans had already been investing heavily in telehealth infrastructure prior to the pandemic, COVID-19 has been a tremendous adoption accelerator," said Connie Hwang, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Innovation at the Alliance of Community Health Plans. Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (OTC: MMEDF) (NEO: MMED), Teladoc Health, Inc. (NYSE: TDOC), 1Life Healthcare, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONEM), Telus Corporation (NYSE: TU) (TSX: T), WELL Health Technologies Corp. (TSX: WELL) (OTC: WLYYF)

The telehealth sector includes a wide range of technological segments under its umbrella. For example, technologies such as telemedicine, robots, and chatbots are being deployed to help gather information, reassure the population, treat patients, make diagnoses, and even prepare future vaccines. In addition, big data analytics can process data collected from telehealth modalities, including both objective data (vital signs, ambient environment) and subjective data (symptoms, patient behavior), along with historical data to enable risk prediction and management. And, as data by MarketsandMarkets indicates, the global telehealth and telemedicine market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 37.7% during the forecast period, to reach USD 191.7 Billion by 2025 from an estimated USD 38.7 Billion in 2020.

Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (OTC: MMEDF) (NEO: MMED) announced that it will acquire HealthMode, a digital medicine and therapeutics startup that uses AI-enabled digital measurement to increase the precision and speed of clinical research and patient monitoring.

MindMed will acquire HealthMode with approximately CAD 300,000 in cash and through the issuance of 82,508 multiple voting shares of MindMed, which, as of February 17, 2021, was worth CAD 5.13, valuing the HealthMode acquisition at approximately CAD 41,254,180. The acquisition will include HealthMode's Intellectual Property, platforms for clinical drug trials, and its entire twenty-four person digital medicine team. MindMed will incorporate HealthMode's ML (machine learning) engineering, product development, and operations employees based in Silicon Valley, NYC, Bratislava, and Prague into MindMed's newly established digital medicine division, Albert. MindMed's goal is to make Albert into an industry leading full stack digital mental health platform that is capable of launching and commercializing psychedelic-assisted therapies and medicines at scale for patients.

MindMed's acquisition of HealthMode will add two new members to their executive team: pharmaceutical veteran Daniel R. Karlin M.D. M.A., and AI/ML expert Bradford Cross. Cross is to become MindMed's Chief Technology Officer. He worked as a founding partner at deep tech venture capital fund DCVC and also founded Prismatic, a personalized AI-driven news feed that became part of the IP underlying LinkedIn's newsfeed and content classification.

Dr. Karlin will become MindMed's Chief Medical Officer. He previously held several roles at Pfizer's Neuroscience Research Unit, ultimately serving as Head of Clinical, Informatics, and Regulatory Strategy for Digital Medicine. He is board certified in Psychiatry, Addiction Medicine, and Clinical Informatics. Dr. Karlin previously was the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Column Health, a network of technology enabled clinics that was an early leader in value-based care for substance use disorders and mental illness. He recently led the development efforts for NightWare, which received FDA clearance for its smartwatch-based treatment for PTSD-related nightmares. Dr. Karlin is also an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine.

MindMed CEO J.R. Rahn said: "Our mission is to make MindMed as much a digital medicine company as a drug development company. With the addition of Dan and Bradford's team of engineers and product experts, our digital medicine division, Albert, is now the Special Ops of digital medicine, applying machine learning to drug development and patient care. The future of modern mental healthcare and psychedelic medicine ultimately will rely on improving infrequent, self-reported and observed measures for mental health to a paradigm where the continual digital measurement of our mind and body is as vital as the drug treatment itself. In effect, we see a possible future mental health treatment paradigm where potential drug products such as our LSD experiential therapy might be prescribed right alongside software application programming interfaces (APIs) to prepare the patient for treatment and optimally monitor the after-care of one's anxiety disorder."

HealthMode co-founder Dan Karlin stated: "MindMed has led the way in innovating toward solutions for mental health including cutting edge drug targets and psychedelic-assisted therapies. I've worked toward solving these same problems at Pfizer and my other medical and tech startups, and believe that there is critical work, urgently needed, to advance treatment of mental illnesses, with particularly rich opportunities in the psychedelic inspired space. The acuity and importance of unmet mental health needs is why we believe so strongly in empowering data-driven solutions, which will more efficiently enable us to generate evidence of efficacy and safety for new psychiatric treatments. Through the tech we have built at Healthmode, we aim to potentially rapidly increase the value of MindMed's asset portfolio by advancing more drugs against more indications at a faster pace with high scientific and technical rigor."

HealthMode co-founder Bradford Cross added: "Having worked a great deal on my own mental health, it has long been a topic near and dear to me. For years, I've thought about how technology, apps, biotech, and fintech can help change the landscape for mental health medicines, psychotherapy, and payor coverage. Dan and I founded HealthMode with this goal and pursued mental health biotech opportunities throughout the past few years. Joining forces with MindMed is exactly the opportunity we were hoping to find. At HealthMode, our technical motto has always been 'better science faster' because we always try to think about what our tech can do to answer real scientific questions by capturing more and better data from increasing patient populations at higher frequency and at a larger scale. Now we'll apply that playbook to accelerate research on one of the most promising targets in psychiatry and ultimately help launch these psychedelic-assisted therapies to patients at scale."

The HealthMode acquisition comes at a time of fast growth for MindMed and maturation of the overall executive team. The company recently hired Chief Development Officer Robert Barrow, who has over a decade of experience working in the biotech sector and previously led an FDA Phase 2 psilocybin clinical trial in obtaining a Breakthrough Therapy Designation. MindMed has also recently launched a drug discovery partnership for novel psychedelic and empathogenic compounds with Swiss Startup MindShift Compounds AG and has raised USD Million since inception.

Teladoc Health, Inc.

 (NYSE: TDOC) announced back in October financial results for the quarter ending September 30, 2020. The Company has reported year-over-year Q3 revenue grows 109% to $288.8 million and total visits increase 206% to 2.8 million, and also year-over-year nine months revenue grows 79% to $710.6 million and total visits increase 163% to 7.6 million. Teladoc Health directly delivers millions of medical visits across 175 countries each year through the Teladoc Health Medical Group and enables millions of patient and provider touchpoints for thousands of hospitals, health systems and physician practices globally. 

1Life Healthcare, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONEM) reported back in November financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020. "We are pleased to have reached new heights in performance this quarter--with our membership surpassing half of a million members and quarterly total net revenue exceeding $100 million for the first time," said Amir Dan Rubin, Chair & CEO of One Medical. "We are further seeing how One Medical's human-centered and technology-powered model is delivering impacts for multiple key stakeholders, advancing our efforts to transform healthcare at scale." Third Quarter 2020 Ending Membership Count of 511,000, a 29% Increase Year-Over-Year.

Telus Corporation (NYSE: TU) (TSX: T) announced last year the expansion of its Home Health Monitoring (HHM) solution so that nurses and other healthcare providers in British Columbia can digitally monitor more patients remotely while they recover from COVID-19. Launched in partnership with the B.C. Ministry of Health and local health authorities, this digital health dashboard enables healthcare providers to track the symptoms and provide medical help for more patients as they recover outside of hospitals in the comfort of their own homes. "As we face the immense challenge of COVID-19, TELUS Health is committed to working alongside BC's healthcare leaders to expand the use of technology solutions like Home Health Monitoring to support more British Columbians while recovering at home," said Darren Entwistle, president and CEO, TELUS. "By enabling clinicians to remotely observe the vitals of patients with COVID-19, as well as those who are vulnerable to the virus, and provide necessary interventions early, we can reduce exposure and also help to alleviate the pressure in hospital emergency rooms and clinics."

WELL Health Technologies Corp. (TSX: WELL) (OTC: WLYYF) announced in December that via its Tia Health subsidiary, has partnered with a leading national medical laboratory to provide eligible patients with online medical consultations and requisitions for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Antibody Testing. Through its partner, WELL is offering a highly accurate blood test to provide information on the SARS-CoV-2 immune response in previously diagnosed patients and to help identify individuals who have been exposed to the virus but not diagnosed with molecular testing. Such tests are available with a doctor's requisition and determine the presence of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies in a patient's blood. "We are very pleased to be providing this Health Canada approved Antibody Test," said Dr. Michael Frankel, Chief Medical Officer of WELL.  "We believe these approved COVID-19 Antibody Testing procedures offer great accuracy in detecting the presence of antibodies related to COVID-19.  In some cases, patients may not have been officially diagnosed but would be interested in knowing if they have been exposed to the virus and that they have antibodies."

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