With more and more doctors visits being able to be done remotely, telehealth stocks are on the rise. The Coronavirus has changed things a lot. Would we have ever thought we could even do a doctor’s visit remotely? That doesn’t mean you can do every doctor visit from the comfort of your own home, however. There are things that need to be done in person. However, telemedicine stocks are a good investment right now.
What Is Telehealth and Telemedicine?
Telehealth has been coined by many to be a medical evolution that came as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. But it’s actually been in use for quite some time. Telehealth and Telemedicine are exactly what they sound like.
Medical consultations, usually with a physician, are conducted by a video call rather than heading into a doctor’s office or hospital. A large majority of doctor’s visits can actually be carried out virtually now.
Especially for things like prescription refills, common allergy symptoms, and chronic ongoing care checkups. Hence the rise of telemedicine stocks.
In a Telehealth call, physicians meet one on one with patients via a video call service, where they can provide medical advice, diagnosis, or further instructions to come in person if needed. Why is Telehealth so popular amongst both doctors and patients?
There aren’t many people I know who enjoy sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, especially if it’s just for a routine check-up that doesn’t require them to be there in person. Doctors can work from anywhere. Therefore, they no longer need to be tied to an office. A specialist in New York can help a patient in California or even London. The possibilities are endless, so here are a few reasons why Telehealth stocks are here to stay, And which companies you can invest in to get in on this rapidly growing sector.
Are Telehealth Stocks Here to Stay?
There has been some discussion as of late that Telehealth was a COVID-19 fad, and that the grand reopening will provide a sort of return to normalcy. But as we saw with remote work, Telehealth has far too many benefits to be completely replaced by returning to in-person appointments.
Telehealth stocks have actually been beaten down over the past couple of months. And while this may be more of a rotation out of one big player and into the broader Telehealth sector as a whole, there’s no denying that a major portion of doctor visits should be changed to virtual meetings forever. So telemedicine stocks could be back on the rise.
What Are Some Benefits of Telehealth?
Staying Home: This is probably the most obvious benefit. When you’re sick, but don’t feel well enough to go all the way to your doctor’s office, scheduling a Telehealh call saves everyone time and energy. It also stops you from spreading your germs to other people. If the doctor is concerned, then you can go directly to a hospital for further examination. This also helps people who live in more rural communities, who may not be able to reach a doctor in a reasonable amount of time.
E-Health: Telehealth stocks are a part of the broader digital transformation of the healthcare system. There are now dozens of mobile apps that act as personal health monitors. You can install these on your smartphone or wearable device. These apps can constantly monitor your vitals, fitness activity, provide medicine reminders, and provide nutritional feedback for meals and caloric intake. There’s also the PHR system that allows physicians from all over the country to access your personal health records. This can be the difference between life and death in an emergency.
Doctors Can Use It: This seems obvious doesn’t it? But what about doctors calling other doctors, or a group video call of specialists from around the country. What if your specialist wants to contact an infectious disease specialist in Germany? The possibilities of doctor to doctor networking are endless. All of this will massively improve the quality and accuracy of our healthcare system.
What Are Some Issues With Telehealth?
Accuracy of Diagnosis: Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the doctor on a Telehealth call may provide an accurate diagnosis or instructions. And everything’s fine. But what if the communication on the Telehealth call wasn’t as in-depth as an in-person consultation would have been? And the doctor provides the wrong prescription? The elephant in the room for Telehealth is always going to be how high of a standard of quality can we ensure on a video call? Unfortunately, there’s no real way of quantifying this.
Fragmented Healthcare: If something becomes so easy to use, there’s always a chance that we end up overusing it. The same argument can be made for prescriptions and throwing medication at every medical issue. Instead of getting to the root of the issue. If we always use video calls to see our doctors, do we miss out on having other things diagnosed? It’s a slippery slope. But at this point, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Cybersecurity Risks: The great thing about putting data online is that it’s easily accessible and can be pulled up at the click of a button when needed. The bad thing is that it’s also susceptible to cyber attacks. Attacks could lead to our personal health information falling into the hands of people with malicious intentions. In an age where digital information is becoming a larger part of our daily lives, we must be aware that there’s always a risk of having our data compromised.
What Telehealth Stocks Should I Invest In?
Finally, we get to the part that you’ve been waiting for. Which Telehealth stocks to invest in right? For an industry that’s nowhere near fully developed, Telehealth has a surprisingly small number of companies that are publicly traded. There’s the big one, TelaDoc, which I’m sure you’ve all heard of.
Other than that, there isn’t a big list. So here are a few of the big ones, and a few more telemedicine stocks to keep your eye out for.
TelaDoc (NYSE: $TDOC)
The main name that we hear associated with Telehealth stocks and Telemedicine stocks is TelaDoc. They’re the industry leader in the U.S., with over 10 million visits in 2020, and has displayed a greater than 70% CAGR with greater than 80% recurring revenue over the past five years.
TelaDoc is still integrating its major acquisition from last year, Livango, that’ll provide it with a digital ecosystem for disease management. TelaDoc already has over 40% of the Fortune 500 companies as clients, and has amassed over 1 billion data points across all its users. Their stock has been beaten up as the economy reopens, but there is no doubt that TelaDoc should continue to be the number one name in TeleHealth.
Amwell (NYSE: $AMWL)
Amwell is a Boston-based company that hasn’t performed that well as a stock since its IPO in 2020. They offer 24-hour doctor availability and sell their Telehealth platform as a recurring subscription service. Despite its low-key profile on Wall Street, Amwell has an A-list group of partners with some of the biggest names in tech.
These including Apple, Cisco, Phillips, Google, and the Cleveland Clinic. With a market cap of only $3 billion USD, the room for rapid growth is there. Thus far Amwell hasn’t executed as a publicly traded company.
Doximity (NYSE: $DOCS)
This stock is even newer to the public markets than Amwell. Doximity debuted in late June. They surged over 100% on their first day of trading. Doximity is almost like a social network system for physicians around the country. As a result, they’re also getting into the Telehealth game.
They boast that 83% of doctors have a better connection experience with Doximity. The company is an interesting one to follow moving forward. And the added benefit of having all of the doctors connected on one network is something that could change the medical system forever!
Telehealth Stocks to Watch
Apple (NASDAQ: $AAPL): Don’t look now but Apple is quickly trying to morph into a healthcare company as well! The Apple Watch is one of the best smart wearables to have if you’re concerned about your vital stats. Stats that include personal fitness, heart health, and nutritional information. The Apple Watch is most likely just the start. But what if the company utilized its vast iPhone network for Telehealth instead?
Amazon (NASDAQ: $AMZN): Another telemedicine stock is in fact Amazon. Always a threat to enter the healthcare industry, Amazon is already providing Telehealth calls to all of its staff. Amazon has also been circling the prescription business. They’re officially allowing certain markets to have their prescriptions dropped off on a scheduled day. Amazon has proven it can disrupt any industry it enters. So companies like TelaDoc will always have to look over their shoulder as another big boy comes to this quiet sector.
Peloton (NASDAQ: $PTON): This one is definitely more of a longshot, but hey, Peloton just got into the wearables market in June of this year. And most of its machines have a giant screen attached to them that could eventually serve the purpose of some sort of Telehealth calls or interviews. Peloton has a vast network of machines and subscribers. They could utilize all of this personal health and fitness data are accumulating to provide private Telehealth calls directly on the fitness machine.
The Bottom Line
Telehealth stocks are here to stay. With companies like Apple and Amazon deciding to join the telemedicine stocks game, there’s no doubt of that. As a result, keep an eye on the stocks mentioned above. Add them to your watch lists and when you find a good setup, trade them.