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Virtual and digital care expanded dramatically during the pandemic as patients, providers, employers, and regulators sought to limit the risk of contracting Covid-19 during hospital and medical visits. Even so, digital health care and virtual health still account for under 2% of all medical expenses, so there is plenty of opportunity for growth.

Patient acceptance, provider shortages, and improved technologies will further increase the attractiveness of virtual and digital care going forward. But changing regulations and a proliferation of vendors will pose challenges to new entrants. As a consultant to employers (J.L.-S.) and an investor in innovative digital companies (A.O.), we offer recommendations for innovative vendors seeking to create or expand digital and virtual solutions to meet the needs of patients and health care purchasers.

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