UK-telehealth company HealthHero has been on a roll with digital health acquisitions in the last few years. Last month the company made news when it purchased French telehealth company Qare.
This acquisition came after the company snapped up digital triage platform Doctorlink in December of 2020 and German company Fernarzt in August.
MobiHealthNews sat down with HealthHero CEO Ranjan Singh to talk about the company’s strategy for the future.
“Where we are going is, we are looking to build on this advantage [of our current size] and extend our lead from this position growing further. What that looks like is more geographical expansions in Europe to begin with, and in what we are doing currently in terms of services, what I call the care spectrum,” he said. “Qare has been amazing acquisition for us for multiple reasons. One, France is a really key market and within France Qare is the industry leader of virtual clinic led teleconsultations.”
A relatively young company, HealthHero, founded in 2019 as a collaboration between investment house Marcol, which already had a number of health assets, and Singh.
It has already grown to include more specialties beyond telehealth, Singh said.
“We have diversified presence in multiple channels B2C, B2B, and B2G, business to government, and we have a holistic offering,” Singh said. “Not just GP, they call it primary care, mental health and muscular-skeletal or physical health. So that’s was the player we are.”
The new acquisition with Qare is really centered around that global expansion piece and in particular France.
“France is a very large market and the regulation is currently favorable. The French government and the healthcare system is reimbursing telemedicine consultations. So that has an opportunity for us. There are basically two models where you have got one with software provisions to doctors and the other is healthcare provision to the end-user. We are fully in healthcare provision to the end-user and using the digital tools for that to be the most efficient and effective.”
While HealthHero will now own Qare, it plans on leaving the company with its own identity within the organization.
“We are for the brand itself, retain the Qare brand. It is a strong brand and we will not only retain but nurture and grow,” Singh said. “On the team side of it we are one Health Hero and the organization itself is more integrated. We want teams driving different markets, different channels so that is how we look at it.”
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed health care. But Singh said this has been an opportunity for the industry, and the company.
“COVID-19 has changed the industry fundamentally. There was a secular microtrend towards an adoption of remote and more efficient ways of delivering healthcare,” he said. “COVID-19, a horrible thing otherwise, has accelerated the change for good in the healthcare sector. It was unsustainable because of lack of capacity, and all the inefficiencies in the process to deliver good healthcare with increasing demand as people are living longer and want better service.