9 companies that expanded into telehealth in 2021

Here are nine companies Becker's Hospital Review has covered that have unveiled telehealth strategies in 2021.

  1. Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos gave a glimpse into what the discount store chain's healthcare strategy is for its 17,000 U.S. stores. Mr. Vasos said the chain is going to focus on offering services to which rural customers don't have access, such as eye care, telemedicine and prescription drug delivery.

  2. Microsoft has unveiled several capabilities for virtual healthcare visits, which can be used through Epic and Cerner EHR. Patients and clinicians can launch telehealth visits through the Microsoft Teams EHR connector for Cerner. Clinicians can launch visits from Cerner PowerChart. The Microsoft Teams EHR connector is also available for patients whose providers use Epic.

  3. Verizon rolled out BlueJeans Telehealth, a telehealth platform that is intended to simplify patients' experiences, increase access to care and expand the reach of telehealth services available. Verizon said the platform's design focuses on ease of use. It offers patients an optional pre-visit medical condition survey and onboarding materials their providers can customize to best educate them, resulting in reduced time in the virtual waiting room.

  4. Amazon Care is bringing telehealth and in-person care to Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas and Boston in 2021. Amazon plans to operate in-person healthcare in 20 major cities by the end of 2022.

  5. Fitness company CrossFit, known for its high-intensity group workouts, has launched CrossFit Precision Care to provide customers with online personalized medicine. The subscription-based program will provide customers with primary care through telemedicine, as well as preventive medicine and access to health coaches. Patients will be able to have customized nutrition, fitness and health plans developed by health professionals.

  6. Walmart Health is shuffling its leadership amid a slow clinic rollout. The retail giant has been focusing on its telehealth initiatives and has pushed back its timeline for brick-and-mortar clinic locations.

  7. CareFirst of Maryland, a Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate, created a virtual care delivery model that lets health plan members get preventive, urgent care and behavioral healthcare through a mobile app.

  8. Personal genomics company 23andMe has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the telehealth platform Lemonaid Health, which is expected to be acquired for $400 million.

  9. Patients with Apple devices can now join telehealth appointments in a HIPAA-compliant setting without downloading Zoom's app. Zoom added an iOS mobile browser feature to its Zoom for Healthcare platform that allows Apple device users to securely join telehealth appointments directly from their mobile browser. 

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