InTouch Health to buy TruClinic to expand direct-to-consumer telehealth service

InTouch Health will incorporate TruClinic's software so patients can initiate and consult with their health system physician from their home.
By Bill Siwicki
03:19 PM

InTouch Health, which markets an enterprise telehealth platform, will acquire TruClinic, which specializes in direct-to-consumer online virtual care. The goal of the deal is for InTouch to expand its existing portfolio to deliver a fuller range of virtual care programs to healthcare provider organizations, better enabling continuity of care between physicians and patients, said InTouch officials.

InTouch Health will incorporate TruClinic's software into its offering such that patients can now initiate and receive a consult with their health system physician from their home, further extending InTouch Health's telehealth system across the continuum of care.

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The combined system will empower health systems to provide virtual care using their own internal physicians or by leveraging InTouch Health's national network of contracted physicians, if needed – offering health systems more control in how they deliver virtual care for patients, InTouch officials said.

"TruClinic is the perfect addition to the InTouch Health Platform, which will soon offer health systems home-to-home virtual care solutions," said Joseph M. DeVivo, CEO of InTouch Health, in a statement. "By bringing InTouch Health and TruClinic together – already two of the top-rated telehealth companies according to KLAS – we will reshape the way health systems look at virtual care and ultimately the way they can interact with their patients."

[Also: Rural hospitals are facing down connectivity obstacles as they deploy telemedicine]

There's recently been some activity on the direct-to-consumer telemedicine front. NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens have been collaborating to link Walgreens customers to NYP physicians on Walgreens' website and at self-service kiosks at select Walgreens-owned Duane Reade drug stores in New York.

This builds on Walgreens' efforts already underway with telehealth provider MDLive in dozens of states where customers can access U.S. board-certified doctors, 24 hours a day, on Walgreens' site.

The first NewYork-Presbyterian NYP OnDemand kiosk opened at the Duane Reade store at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan, with more locations opening this year. Kiosks are in private rooms within the stores and offer examination, diagnosis and treatment of non-life threatening illnesses and injuries via NewYork-Presbyterian's OnDemand Urgent Care program. Walgreens is using telemedicine technology from vendor American Well.

CVS also is pushing direct-to-consumer telehealth. CVS customers at their corner CVS Health MinuteClinics in Ohio can access clinicians at the Cleveland Clinic via online and mobile telehealth technology from vendor American Well.

"It's a way for Cleveland Clinic to extend our reach and serve more people who need help," said Cleveland Clinic medical director of distance health Peter Rasmussen, MD. "We believe that it is important to remove barriers to care like time, travel and distance, and we're making that possible through this partnership."

The organizations eye direct-to-consumer telehealth aiding patients with non-emergency care needs such as coughs, rashes and infections, as well as patients with ongoing, chronic conditions to manage, such as diabetes.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
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