Telemedicine, or telehealth, companies allow people to see doctors and other medical professionals remotely via phone, video call, and computer. With the COVID-19 pandemic driving increased demand for healthcare and promoting a policy of social distancing, telemedicine services are rapidly expanding. When Congress recently passed $8.3 billion in emergency funding to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the provisions loosened rules on using telehealth services under the U.S. Medicare program. Because viruses, including the latest pandemic, threaten to spread rapidly through our increasingly globalized society in the future, telemedicine offers a way for doctors to see patients whose vulnerability to disease may make doctor visits dangerous.

While a number of large, publicly-traded health services companies such as UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) and Humana Inc. (HUM) are branching into telemedicine, most pure-play telemedicine companies are privately held or only trade over the counter.  The one exception is Teladoc Health (TDOC) which trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It has dramatically outperformed the broader market in the past year and has a market value of around $12.2 billion. If you want to invest directly in the telemedicine sector, that is currently your only easily accessible option. However, we'll also review two other prominent, private telemedicine firms that are receiving tens of millions of dollars in funding from venture capitalists. Globally, scores of telehealth startups raised billions of dollars from venture capitalists in 2018 and 2019. These companies below give you a broader picture of the industry and of Teledoc's potential competitors.

Teladoc Health (TDOC)

  • 2019 Annual Revenue: $553.3 million
  • 2019 Annual Net Income: -$98.9 million
  • Market Cap: $12.2 billion
  • 1-Year Total Return: 184.2%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Teladoc Health provides a platform for people to get healthcare from a variety of health professionals including mental health care providers and specialists.  Founded in 2002, Teladoc first went public in 2015.  Its revenue comes both from subscription fees and copays for its services, though how much of those is paid by patients and how much is paid by their health plan providers varies. While Teladoc has grown revenue significantly, up 32% in the past year alone, it is not yet profitable. As the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded globally, its stock price has skyrocketed by 105.1% in the past 3 months.

Teladoc has made numerous acquisitions. The most recent was the $600 million cash and stock deal for InTouch Health, which provides enterprise telemedicine platforms for hospitals. 

Doctor On Demand

Founded in 2012, startup Doctor on Demand is a platform that connects patients with a variety of healthcare professionals. Doctor on Demand has raised $160 million over 5 funding rounds, their most recent was in April 2018, when they raised $74 million. In February 2019, Doctor On Demand announced the launch of Synapse, a fully-integrated platform that allows health plans and employers to deliver primary care coverage.

MDLIVE

Founded in 2006, MDLIVE, also connects patients with a variety of healthcare professionals, including primary care doctors, psychiatrists, and dermatologists. It has raised $123.6 million over three rounds of funding, the most recent in August, 2018. In 2014, it acquired Breakthrough Behavioral, a telemedicine provider focusing on mental health therapy.