The growing consumer health industry offers some amazing opportunities, and telehealth companies are ready to claim their stake. Millions of Americans have coverage under federal health law, and need better primary care services. And the “self-service healthcare revolution” is here to serve their needs.
The Dublin, Ohio based ‘HealthSpot’ offered enclosed cubicles that allowed patients to pay for a video ‘visit’ with the doctor. These cubicles were placed in Wal-Mart and other convenient locations across USA to offer cheap, convenient primary healthcare solutions to Americans.
Rajeev Mudumba recently published an article on Telehealth and Medicine Today™. He discusses how the prodigy of the telehealth industry went down in flames because of certain flaws inherent in its business and marketing plans.
Yes, HealthSpot managed to secure 46.7 million in capital and countless other lucrative deals with some of the leading brands, technology providers and services in the healthcare industry. Despite it all, the company was shut down in December 2015.
HealthSpot – What Led To Bankruptcy and Liquidation?
Telehealth is often considered the ultimate solution for fighting rising healthcare costs and providing better healthcare access. And with a seemingly rock solid business idea, HealthSpot seemed to have gotten the business aspects of telehealth right as well.
Before filing for bankruptcy in 2015, HealthSpot generated record breaking profits, reporting $1.1 million in revenue. With state-of-the-art technology, big name partners such as Mayo Health and Samsung, and a virtually unlimited supply of capital, how did HealthSpot still manage to go under?
According To Rajeev Mudumba, the causes could include:
They Took Too Long To Start Selling And Generating Income
No matter how exciting or revolutionary a product, it is important that it reduces time to market. HealthSpot took too long to make their kiosks functional, and then used the first 50 to provide free-of-cost services. They also worked too hard on proving the functionality of their idea in academic settings, and didn’t concentrate on the business end of things until later. This gave their competition time to develop their own products and cut into the planned revenues for HealthSpot.
They didn’t Work Out a Viable Technology and Business Model
For a service that aimed to offer quick primary healthcare solutions, HealthSpot’s cubicle telehealth services had one inherent flaw: HealthSpot required its users to have pre-scheduled appointments with their doctors before availing services available at HealthSpot’s kiosk. This requirement alone significantly reduced the utility facet of telehealth, which is all about getting in touch with a doctor remotely as and when required.
The Last Word: There Are Plenty Of Lessons To Be Learned Here!
According to this article, the mobile health market is estimated to grow to $86.6 billion by 2020. This makes it attractive to variety of business and services providers. However, HealthSpot’s failure offers several lessons for all telehealth service providers that aim to remain profitable while serving the growing healthcare needs of the country.
You can visit the online telehealth open access digital journal, Telehealth and Medicine Today™ for the latest news and information from the industry. Rajeev Mudumba’s “HealthSpot: Telehealth Gone Wrong? Not Really” can be read here!