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Google Cloud invests $100 million in Amwell to scale up telehealth

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 26, 2020
Artificial Intelligence Health IT Telemedicine

The pandemic has made the need for tools that enable virtual visits skyrocket over the last few months, according to Gupta, who says more favorable reimbursement coverage and demand from consumers make it likely that telehealth will continue to be used more.

"Even before the pandemic, the demand for telehealth was high. And this meant much more traffic and strain on telehealth systems," she said. "I think Amwell felt we were a good fit because we're an enterprise-grade cloud platform that gives them stability and global scale. From our perspective, Amwell is a good fit because they have deep domain expertise and understand telehealth workflows really well. They're a leader in this space for more than a decade now."

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Amwell reported in its IPO that its revenue has increased 77% in the first six months of 2020, compared to the same time last year, from $69 million to $122 million. Its net loss, however, nearly tripled over the same period, growing from $41 million in the first six months of 2019 to $111 million in the first half of this year.

Google Cloud’s largest customers in the $3.5 trillion medical sector include Mayo Clinic and Ascension, with some also using Amwell for telehealth services. This fact, combined with strong competition from companies like Livongo and Teladoc (which recently merged together in an $18.5 billion deal) make a partnership between Amwell and Google Cloud even more desirable, according to CNBC.

"We chose Google Cloud as our strategic partner because of their phenomenal people, superior products, and open approach to partnering," said Dr. Ido Schoenberg, chairman and CEO of Amwell, in a statement. "Together, we will be able to offer an incredible array of integrated capabilities and help millions of people around the world access better care. Our collaborative work could literally democratize healthcare."

Products and services under the partnership will abide by strict security and privacy guidelines regarding the use of data access and usage, including industry regulations for patient health information such as HIPAA.

Google Cloud’s investment will be a concurrent private placement at a purchase price that will be equal to the price to the public in Amwell’s IPO, and will be contingent upon the closing of its IPO.

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