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Teladoc Health, Inc (NYSE: TDOC) is a telecare and virtual health company based in the United States. By providing platforms such as mobile apps and videoconferencing in place of in-person medical appointments, Teladoc is revolutionizing the way healthcare is being provided. With services being provided in over 130 countries, the company is continuing down a path of rapid growth and is showing no signs of slowing down.
What is Teladoc Health, Inc (TDOC)?
Teladoc is one of the longest-serving virtual health companies in the world. When operations began in 2002, the company started off connecting patients to doctors virtually within the State of Texas. After some early success, the company launched nationally a few years later. By developing relationships with large organizations and insurance companies, their user base grew rapidly as employers began offering Teladoc as an option within worker health benefits. Two decades later, the company now employs 4,000 and offers a full suite of services designed to integrate all aspects of healthcare. This “whole person” approach allows for end-to-end healthcare solutions catered to individual needs. Whether it be a referral or a second opinion, Teladoc has services for just about anybody who needs it.
Through strategic moves, the company has established itself as the single largest company in the telehealth sector in terms of client base. This was made possible by acquisitions of main competitors Ameridoc and Consult A Doctor during the infancy of the industry in 2014. Through these moves, the company enjoyed a period of relatively little competition in the United States, allowing for rapid growth. Today, the company is trusted by organizations such as Microsoft and Target to provide health services to their employees. In total, Teladoc has over 50 million paying customers in the United States.
Virtual care is seen as an increasingly important part of the future of healthcare. Access to services such as mental health professionals in many areas is scarce, and the ability to provide access to previously unreached patients is one of the largest advantages of virtual care. The convenience and confidentiality that virtual care provides is often cited by patients, particularly those in the younger generation, as one of the main drivers behind seeking out virtual care. For older patients, the ability to seek healthcare without needing to leave their home is extremely attractive. Barriers such as time, mobility, and distance are removed, leading to more individuals seeking out treatment.
Why does Teladoc Health, Inc (TDOC) Matter?
With the adoption of virtual care increasing exponentially, Teladoc is very well positioned as one of the global leaders in the field. In the past 5 years alone, virtual visits through Teladoc have risen from 576,000 in 2015 to over 10.6 million in 2020. The portion of users from outside of the United States has also risen, and now accounts for over 20% of Teladoc visits. This is significant as adoption in other places in the world has not been as rapid as in the United States. As more awareness and acceptance of virtual care is established in other parts of the world, the groundwork Teladoc has laid in these places will pay off for years to come.
Another reason for Teladoc's popularity is its integrated approach to healthcare. Aside from virtual visits for physician visits, the company also offers mental health care, chronic care management, and specialist services. With this approach, the company ensures that from the first visit, patients are able to continue taking advance of Teladoc's product offerings over the course of treatment. With their connections into the healthcare system, Teladoc also offers a “front-door” into in-person treatments for those who need these types of services. This integration with the traditional healthcare sector is a critical driver for bringing patients to the Teladoc platform.
As client needs have grown, so have Teladoc's strategy. Aside from organic growth, strategic moves have made the company stronger over time. In total, 12 acquisitions have been completed by the company, each of which covers a different addressable segment of the market. These acquisitions have been one of the main drivers for growth over the past number of years. Some examples of these new offerings made possible through acquisitions include InTouch Health, Best Doctors, and Healthiest you
Teladoc Health, Inc (TDOC) Prospects
Despite Teladoc already dominating the virtual care space, there is much room to grow. Currently, 40% of Fortune 500 companies use Teledoc health services. If this is any indication, there still remains a large market out there that has yet to be reached. As new users join and use the system for the first time, it is likely that they will continue to use the system once the convenience and benefits are seen. The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to have accelerated this shift, as new users join to avoid in-person medical settings and opt for virtual care.
Through the existing model, the business is very scalable and will only improve as time goes on. As more patients join the platform, Teladoc is rapidly adding additional services to meet the needs of new clients. For example, Teladoc's merger with Livongo in 2020 opened up an entirely new avenue of growth for the company. Seeing a trend of more patients needing treatment options for chronic diseases, Teladoc brought one of the leaders in chronic care management into their portfolio through an estimated $18.5 billion deal to merge with Livongo. Through this acquisition, Livongo's cloud-based diabetes management technology, which helps patients control their blood sugar, was brought into the Teladoc ecosystem.
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The benefits of virtual care are increasingly becoming evident. As more patients adopt this new method of medical care, Teladoc will be well-positioned to continue scaling up. Throughout the past few decades, the company has made significant strides consolidating services under the Teladoc name. As a result of this work, just about any individual who is seeking out medical care will likely end up considering Teladoc or one of its many subsidiaries. As the company continues to expand into new marketplaces, the opportunities for growth remain highly promising.
Baggio has been an investor in the technology space for over half a decade. He uses the perspectives gained from his work experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors to guide his investment strategy, with a specific interest in the potential of emerging disruptive technologies.
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