The coronavirus pandemic has led to a massive shift in the way healthcare is delivered.
Millions of people have been staying at home to avoid infection. Doctors instead have been meeting with patients over phone and video calls instead of at their offices. Private insurers and the federal government helped move the shift along by relaxing rules on telehealth.
That led to new business opportunities. In August, the telehealth giant Teladoc announced an $18.5 billion deal to acquire Livongo, a chronic-care company. Shortly after, the telehealth company American Well made its stock-market debut.
The pandemic also was a turning point for Lark Health, a startup with a tool that helps 2 million people manage and prevent chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The tool syncs with devices that remotely monitor information like weight and glucose levels and coaches patients via artificial intelligence.
“The market really has changed so dramatically, much because of COVID,” Lark CEO and cofounder Julia Hu, 35, told Business Insider. “There is so much more of a need for virtual healthcare” during the pandemic, she added.