Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Philips expands in telehealth through American Well partnership

Steve Rogerson
January 16, 2018



Dutch giant Philips is partnering US telehealth provider American Well to deliver virtual care jointly around the world.
 
Through this technology partnership, the two companies will work together to embed American Well’s mobile telehealth services into an array of Philips products for both healthy consumers and patients with a medical need, spanning personal health and wellness, population health management, and clinical programmes.
 
A first example is the Philips uGrow parenting app that soon will embed telehealth services provided by American Well. The partnership aims to provide a seamless consumer experience that empowers people to manage their health better.
 
“Partnering with American Well to deliver highly personalised virtual care to consumers and healthcare professionals fits Philips’ vision of 24/7, coordinated care across the health continuum – the right care delivered at the right time in the right place,” said Jeroen Tas, chief innovation and strategy officer at Philips. “American Well already collaborates with many of the largest insurers and healthcare providers in the USA, offering great opportunities for joint business development with the aim to create a better patient experience in this important new area of digital healthcare delivery.”
 
Since 2006, American Well has provided consumers with 24-hour access to licensed healthcare professionals. People can use the service even when their primary care physician is not available, for the convenience of remote access and short wait times. American Well is also the telehealth infrastructure behind the largest payers, hospitals and employers in the USA who collectively serve more than 150 million Americans, nationally. Through long-established industry relationships, American Well is now expanding to create a global marketplace for its clients and partners to share resources and better deliver care digitally.
 
“We’re excited to participate in expanding and enhancing Philips’ best-in-class product line,” said Ido Schoenberg, CEO of American Well. “Philips brings great consumer professional devices and programmes, coupled with powerful analytics. With the addition of telehealth, they can now offer everything from data collection to care provision and clinical intervention. Together we are helping providers and payers improve their care model by using a broader and more accurate data set, which will be analysed more quickly to effectively close the loop with patients.”
 
Phase one of the partnership brings American Well’s telehealth service into the Philips Avent uGrow parenting app. This telehealth update to uGrow was announced this month in the USA and will be available to download from the App Store and Google Play soon. Designed to support parents monitoring their baby’s development, uGrow connects wirelessly to an ecosystem of devices, such as the Philips Avent smart baby monitor. Coming to the ecosystem later this year, uGrow will include voice activation with Amazon Echo and the Philips Avent smart feeding kit that will automatically monitor the time, volume and duration of a baby’s feeds.
 
A key feature of the system is the ability to let parents share data with and receive personalised advice from healthcare professionals. By connecting consumers directly with providers, American Well provides the secure, on-demand real-time video connection to a relevant healthcare professional – paediatrician, adult medical doctor or mental health specialist – online or via mobile phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and helps with scheduling an appointment with a lactation consultant.
 
For the service, consumers will pay a fee, which differs by care professional type and consultation duration. For concerned parents, the in-app virtual care capability can save time and the cost and trouble of an ER visit.
 
Beyond uGrow, Philips will leverage American Well’s mobile telehealth software development kit to integrate video visits seamlessly and natively into a diverse set of Philips’ digital health products. American Well’s integrated telehealth visits will be further enhanced via backend integration with Philips’ population health and clinical systems, based on the Philips HealthSuite digital platform.
 
Via HealthSuite, consumers and patients can have secure and full control over their personal data, including data from their connected devices, and select which data to share with health professionals, resulting in more holistic, effective and personalised care, as well as a better user experience and health outcomes.
 
Philips will also join the American Well Exchange clinical services marketplace, which enables healthcare partners to exchange telehealth services with one another and redistribute them to new patient populations. Via the Exchange, Philips-branded telehealth programmes can be redistributed to health plans, employers and health systems within the American Well ecosystem, bringing Philips innovation directly to an ever-increasing number of consumers.
 
Allianz has agreed to a $59.2m investment and strategic partnership with American Well to develop digital services that will widen access, lower cost and improve quality of healthcare for millions of patients worldwide. Allianz X, the digital investment unit of Allianz, led the investment and will join American Well’s board of directors.
 
Netsmart and American Well have announced a technology partnership to connect their respective networks, creating a virtually connected healthcare community, enabling collaboration across a network of more than 200 million consumers, 600,000 providers and more than 25,000 organisations.