The company had 11 times the membership in 2020 and now reaches 700,000 patients
While Telehealth was the big winner of 2020 and raised tons of cash for a multitude of companies, the truth is that many of them, including AmWell, Doctor On Demand, and 98point6, are targeting almost the same market: facilitating a primary care relationship between doctors and their patients.
What none of them do is look for the specialty care area, and has created an opening for the virtual specialist platform Summus Global, which on Thursday announced a $ 21 million Series B funding round.
In special care it is very difficult and much more complex to create interactions between people via video than in primary care, J.ulian Flannery, founder and CEO of Summus, told me.
“There’s a curation aspect, an understanding of a person’s medical history, an understanding of data and record collection, and so on, which needs to happen sometimes. So we differ in that we focus on special care.” he said.
“The interesting thing to me is when you think of primary care, the most important thing is familiarity and convenience. Specialized care is all about access and the quality of the doctors or health systems I’m connected to. It’s about speed we believe we have a truly unique model that has drawn some of the best doctors in medicine to work through. “
Summus was founded in 2015 and acts as the gateway to all health issues. It uses a Google-like interface that patients can use to inquire about their health issues. That means everything from problems with migraines to problems with your child Development problems.
From there, Summus connects you with one of the 4,000 specialists on its platform. T.This doctor will spend 30 minutes with the patient understanding what a particular diagnosis means. After that, Summus can refer the problem to an expert if the problem is more complex, or if the patient would really benefit from speaking to a specialist doctor for any specific diagnosis or health concern.
The arrangement that Summus facilitates is not a patient-doctor relationship, Flannery explained: It is really a connection between two people, and the expert or doctor gives advice and guidance.
“One of the main tenets of our belief is that the connection between doctors and patience is incredibly important. We really built this company first because I firmly believe that when you improve the doctor’s experience, you actually improve the consumer experience.” said Flanney
“Everyone’s talking about consumerization of health care, but in some ways you have to understand the other side of the equation deeply as well, as it obviously affects the consumer experience. What we’ve built is a really fantastic way for people to get access to high quality doctors very quickly in all questions of non-basic services. “
The platform is offered as a an employer-funded benefit that is above your plan and is free for the employee; Currently there are 200 companies on the platform reach 700,000 employees.
Using Summus, 92% of members are better informed after looking at the platform, and 64% of members have actually changed their treatment plan. The company also gets five to ten times more occupancy than the standard second opinion category on the market.
“The data we track shows an average three-to-one ROI across our entire customer base as the ROI depends on the number of users and the impact on the unit level. And we’re seeing a pretty huge impact there is exciting,” said Flannery.
Summus’s new round of funding, raising a total of $ 27 million, was led by Sator Grove Holdings, with the participation of the Outsiders Fund, Savoy Capital, Teamworthy Ventures and existing investors.
The company plans to use the new money to improve its core product and scale its existing employer business, while working with additional health systems and medical competence centers. There are also plans to create more partnerships on the data side.
It also means going deeper into markets across the country, which means expanding the team to include in between 50 to 75 employees by the end of the year.
“It’s really about building our national presence across the country. We have incredible employer relationships, we have an incredible product, there is obviously a big effort going on domestically, and then we’re also going to announce some international partnerships that we think are very exciting for the company on a future basis, “said Flannery.
Summus saw significant growth during the pandemic, with membership increasing 11-fold in 2020 as both patients and physicians endorsed virtual care: 76 percent of consumers are now using virtual care, compared with 11 percent before the COVID 65% of doctors say they are really happy with the connection via a virtual care platform.
“They have very strong acceptance on both sides, and when you see radical transformations like this happening in the marketplace, it tends to resume if the users of the transformation really like it. If they don’t, it can break off.” back, “said Flannery.
“I mean, of course, there will be a bit of a decrease in face-to-face visits, but we have had a lot of conversations with leading academic medical centers about supporting their virtual care strategies, and that has only increased in the past six months.”
He sees Summus as positioned to take advantage of this trend towards virtual care as well as the great market opening, as the focus is more on specialty medicine than on basic care.
“The concept of improving the doctor’s experience improves the consumer experience and the deep respect for medicine and respect for the doctor’s profession is very important to us. And then it’s all about the quality component: when you think about where the virtual care has been and where historically it was really just a screen between two people and the hope that it would work, “Flannery said.
“Consumers and buyers of virtual care solutions will increasingly look at different quality solutions. We are therefore really well positioned to be part of this trend. We believe in that fundamentally.”