The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has had shocking impacts on businesses across the globe as they learn to cope with a new reality. While this epidemic has stifled parts of the economy, it has also created a period of rapid growth in several technological industries. One of the companies in a unique position to thrive and flourish with greater force is the health tech company WELL Health Technologies Corp.
With its groundbreaking Telehealth platform and unique digital first approach to patient care, WELL is taking the digital healthcare revolution to a new level in 2021 by impacting millions of lives.
How? The answer is simple. WELL’s CEO Hamed Shahbazi has expertly meshed two thriving pieces of the modern economy, health and technology, by digitizing and modernizing both physician and patient experiences. This has allowed WELL to excel in the delivery of patient care.
As the previous CEO of TIO NETWORKS, which was acquired by PayPal for $304M in 2017, Hamed Shahbazi has an eye for finding digital solutions to different industries’ difficult problems. Now, his latest venture has emerged, during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a leader in the telehealth industry with a market capitalization exceeding $1billion. We had the opportunity to talk with Shahbazi to discuss the future of Telehealth in the coming years.
What was your inspiration behind the creation of WELL?
Our focus lies in the digitization and modernization of healthcare. It was clear to me that there had been a major under-investment in the digitization and modernization of healthcare worldwide. Now, with WELL championing innovation, healthcare services are finally beginning to catch up with other industries. This is essential in order to better serve the needs of patients and their desire for enhanced digitally driven experiences.
As a healthcare provider in a competitive technological world, WELL strives to be at the forefront of the digital health revolution, enabling treatment to be proactive, rather than reactive, resulting in better health outcomes.
What sets WELL apart?
For all its misery, the challenges of COVID-19 have accelerated the adoption of telehealth and opened our minds to the possibility of further digitization of healthcare. This represents an expansive opportunity for WELL. For example, a few months ago WELL launched apps health as a way to connect healthcare professionals with new digital tools designed to help them better support their patients directly through their EMR. This translates directly into improved primary care experiences for patients, who can gain access to aspects of their medical records, receive lab results, view their prescription history, and access their healthcare provider directly from their phone.
Tell us a bit about how your business operations have changed during the pandemic.
The pandemic has made WELL’s mission even more critical, providing opportunity for rapid growth. Just last month WELL completed the acquisition of CRH Medical Corp at US $373M.
At the time of the acquisition, CRH supported approximately 73 ambulatory surgical centers in 15 US states and thousands of gastroenterologists in all the lower 48 US states , helping to further establish WELL in the US market and create opportunities for WELL to distribute its already proven digital solutions to those US clinics.
WELL is now one of the largest operators of healthcare clinics in Canada, and based on analyst expectations, WELL is now approaching C$300M in revenues and more than 25% EBITDA margins..
In February of 2021, Sir Li Ka Shing, who has participated in all of WELL’s fund raising rounds, participated in the Company’s most recent $305M round with a substantial investment.
What can we expect from WELL Health in 2021?
In a few years, WELL has already broken out as one of the leaders in the telehealth space. We started out acquiring, owning, and operating medical clinics, but quickly grew to cover a host of both digital and clinical assets. Today WELL has 7 distinct business units covering bricks and mortar clinics, allied healthcare services, electronic medical records (EMRs), digital health applications and telehealth, billing and back office services, and cybersecurity. Each business unit is growing organically and inorganically. The Company has also become international as we now have a significant growth business in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
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