Google invests $100m in telehealth

Google Cloud's director of global healthcare solutions Aashima Gupta.

The cloud division of Google's aims to invest some $100m in Amwell, developer of technology for virtual doctors' visits. The company has filed to go public, and Google's investment will be a concurrent private placement at the IPO price.

As part of the partnership, Amwell will move parts of its business from Amazon Web Services, which it currently uses, to Google Cloud. Amwell is selecting Google cloud as its “preferred global cloud partner” and is moving some video performance capabilities to that platform. The two companies will also cooperate on technology and build out a dedicated sales effort to expand Amwell’s footprint in the sector, CNBC reported. All of the major technology companies strive to sign health-care customers, including insurance plans and hospitals, as they slowly shift from on-premise systems to the cloud.

Google Cloud’s director of global healthcare solutions Aashima Gupta said she expected to see continued usage of telehealth because of “more favourable reimbursement coverage and consumers looking into this as a viable option.” With more people than ever avoiding seeking in-person medical help at hospitals and clinics, usage of tools for virtual visits has skyrocketed in recent months.

Google Cloud’s largest customers in the $3.5 trillion medical sector include health systems such as Mayo Clinic and Ascension. Some of these customers also use Amwell for their telehealth services. Others rely on rivals such as Teladoc, MDLive and Doctor On Demand. Amwell currently works with about 2,000 hospitals, 55 health plans and 36,000 employers.

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