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Accolade To Buy 2nd.MD To Boost Telehealth Options

Healthcare technology company Accolade is buying telemedicine startup 2nd.MD to boost its abilities to help users navigate medical plans and second options, CNBC reported.

The sale is likely to go forward for $460 million, according to CNBC, and Accolade will purchase 2nd.MD parent company Innovation Specialists. Half of the transaction will go through in cash, while the other half will be in Accolade shares. The sale is likely to be completed next month.

The acquisition shows how the health tech field is burgeoning during the pandemic, in which people need socially distanced and digital options for most things, including healthcare. Digital health startups attracted around $24.1 billion in venture capital funding in 2020, which was a 29 percent boost over the previous year, according to CNBC.

2nd.MD was founded in 2011, CNBC reported. The company is focused on getting second opinions automatically and is able to deliver them in days via video or telephone. Before that, they tended to take weeks to complete.

“At a critical moment in someone’s healthcare journey, when you’re making a decision about whether to get a surgery or undertake a particular treatment, often you’re looking for expert guidance,” Accolade CEO Raj Singh told CNBC.

Singh said the company’s process involves taking medical records and giving them to a network of physicians who specialize in those disease categories. Then the physicians do a video consultation on the recommended next steps, CNBC reported.

And, according to Singh, the way consumers want healthcare is changing, becoming more oriented to digital solutions, CNBC reported.

Over the course of the pandemic, more Americans have come around to telehealth technology. While over 80 percent of Americans haven’t used virtual visits to see a doctor, a study showed that virtual visits jumped 4,345 percent for non-urgent care and 683 percent for urgent care between March 2 and April 14.

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