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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.


Demonstrate improved quality, excellent user experience, and cost savings

Employers are facing a crisis of recruiting and retaining talent and the simultaneous prospect of escalating medical costs. The most successful digital and virtual care ventures will help their customers provide employees with improved access and empowerment and lower total costs. This isn’t easy — many digital or virtual programs could actually raise costs if they are simply layered on top of existing medical care.

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