Mobile apps have improved everything from food delivery to online shopping, so there’s good reason to believe they can do the same for the healthcare industry.
In this video from “The 5” on Motley Fool Live, recorded September 23, Fool.com contributors Brian Withers, Toby Bordelon and Demitri Kalogeropoulos share their wishlist ideas on how mobile apps could improve the healthcare experience, and a few healthcare companies that are making it happen.
Brian Withers: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) was in the news again today. It was around his forays into health care. It is said to be working on functions with its software and hardware that have helped detect depression and cognitive decline in its users. It opened up the idea to me. I know Tim Cook has said he wants Apple to be known for its advancements in healthcare. He devotes a great deal of attention and effort to it. Since everyone, just about everyone carries a mobile device. These days, Apple and Google remember that Google bought Fitbit to help people live healthier lives. I would like to ask you guys, is there any cell phone feature or future app in the works that you are passionate about from a health perspective and are there any investment angles here? Toby, I think I got you first on every question, [laughs] that’s not how it was supposed to be organized, but I’ll let you go.
Toby Bordelon: Do you want me to go first? You are.
Withers: Yeah, go first.
Bordeaux: I go. Okay, I’ll start.
Withers: I don’t want Demitri to feel bad. [laughs]
Bordeaux: Yes, I noticed that too. Like on # 3, wait a minute. [laughs] Why do I have to go first.
Withers: Whoever organized the show must fix it. [laughs]
Bordeaux: Someone might need to be fired man [laughs]. I don’t know if it’s in progress or not. I think it’s probably on some level, but what I’m saying is I know these things exist, but I want to see digital insurance cards take it to the next level, right? Don’t just show your insurance card on your app, I’m talking like you have a QR code. The receptionist or nurse scans it and you’re done with the check-in, right? As you are, the admission form is automatically filled with the information provided by the insurance company. You don’t have to write down your police number and all that nonsense. Everything is filling up. You walk in, scan, sit and wait, you don’t have to mess around with filling out the form. And then unload too, right they can say if you wanted to load the card, can I see your insurance app for co-pay, yes. Once done, the prescriptions will simply be sent automatically to the pharmacy of your choice. Part of that is happening now. But there is always a conversation to be had. Which pharmacy do you want to send it to? I want this to happen automatically or have your online pharmacy delivered the next day to your home. The discharge instructions are in your app, no matter which app you are already using. We sort of get there.
I remember the last time I was in the ER, it was a few years ago. All the time off and all the payments took place in the emergency room, right? As the guy rode in his cart, he scanned my group. Then he said, “Okay, credit card. Boom, “Here’s your co-pay. It’s sent to your insurance. Let’s say your leave, instructions, you’re good to go,” and I don’t have to stop at a desk or anything. I just got out. They are starting to improve a bit. But I think there is room for improvement, I think. There is a way to just take all the elements and connect them. Now it’s a challenge, it’s a process. You obviously have regulations that address some of these issues in terms of health care privacy laws, and so on, which I think need to be updated for the modern environment. But I would just like to see all those sore spots go away and go to the doctor and get medical advice faster, easier, and more automatically.
Withers: So you want your Amazon one-click ordering experience.
Bordeaux: Exactly. I wanna see like, yeah, scan that. Boom. [laughs] Call me when the doctor is ready like this.
Withers: I would like to. Demitri, what do you think?
Demitri Kalogeropoulos: Yes. Let’s say on a similar vein there. Alright Alright. It’s not really a great feature I guess, but it’s what we’re basically using right now. It’s the old teleconferencing, video conferencing, that really has so much potential in the healthcare industry. He’s already doing a lot of distribution, I guess the idea is a distributed healthcare model that allows people to do like home doctor visits. We have obviously seen a lot of them during the pandemic for the sake of convenience, but also for safety reasons.
Great company to consider in this area as Teladoc (NYSE: TDOC) of course, technical ticker, TDOC. Their latest income report was another similar figure to rashes which more than doubled year-over-year income from what would have been sort of the first quarter of the year for them. last, which had seen an increase in the number of visits. It is the company that allows patients to interact with doctors online, via a smartphone or via a tablet. They have just raised their outlook for 2021. They plan to have their first turnover of two billion dollars this year. Obviously, with this request, there are a lot of question marks as to what the request does from here and what happens after the pandemic threat subsides. But I think the convenience factor is so much better than such an improvement over the traditional model of just going to a crowded waiting room and waiting in the lobby depending on how often you’ve shown up and what you signed up to see a very busy person sometimes falling behind for who knows how long. I just think there are so many opportunities for it to enhance the experience of doing some kind of general wellness tour. Then it might just grow from there in terms of things like Apple Watches or those other devices that can pass other information to the doctor at the same time, I think there is a lot of room for this service. or more in depth over the next few years.
Withers: Yeah, do you know what I need Teladoc to do? Great Clips has a great one, you probably don’t use Great Clips, Demitri. Corn [laughs] has a great app where I can put, I want to check in and she goes around the local Great Clips and says, this one has a 10 minute wait. This one has a zero. I go there, I want to register there, then when I go I am the first in line and I am registered, so maybe Teladoc can work on that. I’ll make them call you, Toby, if they pay me for ideas.
For me, I love that clinical trials and these digital devices that we have, watch brands and phones are becoming more and more ubiquitous. Since I was covering Fitbit as its own separate company, they would frequently advertise the research organizations they partnered with to help digitize the clinical trial process, and you think about the process before, hey, whenever you have. headache, write it down, or when you feel your heart rate increasing, write it down. It was more if the patient remembered to do it and filled out a form correctly, and it’s just not a really reliable way to get data at scale. Nowadays there are those clinical trials that are done with tens of thousands of people over longer periods of time that just weren’t possible before. It’s something really exciting for me to advance health research. I like Veeva Systems (NYSE: VEEV) like a play, VEEV. They help life science companies digitize the clinical trial experience, both with applications for practicing physicians, as well as for patients. There are some pretty cool things going on there.
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