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Is Telehealth Already Dead?


“Telehealth 1.0 is dead,” says Included Health CEO Owen Tripp.

Tripp argues “The problem with telehealth 1.0 is it’s just a — put a quarter in the jukebox, listen to one song, and then it’s over. You don’t see the same doctor again.”

Is that the problem with telehealth?

It’s true that one-time telehealth darlings like Babylon Health have been taking big hits post-COVID, but is the problem the model, or is it something else — or is there even a real problem in the first place?

The telehealth market was valued at over $100 billion in 2023

And it’s not expected to stop growing anytime soon. Grand View Research predicts that by 2030, the telehealth market will be over $450 billion. That’s a 24% CAGR, almost on par with AI’s 28%. To put that into perspective, a 10% CAGR is usually indicative of “strong growth.”

It makes sense that telehealth is expected to grow so much so fast because, well, it’s really useful.

Multiple studies from research firms like McKinsey have found that telehealth products and services (such as digital health apps, wearables, and other kinds of at-home care devices) significantly reduce inpatient hospital visits while expanding access to healthcare.

The Boston Consulting Group’s report on digital health in 2024 says, “Our experts expect new digital tools to enhance productivity in the health care arena, allowing companies to interact more directly with patients and clinicians, reducing software and marketing costs, and boosting efficiency by eliminating manual, time-consuming tasks. They also predict that leaders in women’s health — and in particular FemTech — over the coming year will be the data-driven health care companies that are able to offer an integrated, end-to-end care pathway for women.”

Why do some experts think telehealth is “dead?”

HealthTech giants like Optum and just regular old tech giants like Amazon have shut down their telehealth services in recent years.

Optum Virtual Care launched in 2021 and announced its shutdown in April 2024. The Optum team said it wanted to shift its focus to more of a hybrid care model and that it found its patients still preferred in-person care over virtual care for some services.

Amazon Care closed in 2022. It did offer a hybrid care model, but the range of services it provided enterprise customers simply wasn’t strong enough. Amazon Pharmacy, on the other hand, is still going strong. You can even get your medication delivered by drone.

So, what’s really going on?

The COVID-19 telehealth bubble was real. It was big — and it burst.

Just like how many “AI” companies found out that putting UI wrappers over ChatGPT maybe wasn’t the best business decision, telehealth companies have also realized that good telehealth and virtual care services need to be more than superficial chat apps.

Onymos customers like Vapotherm are making it a point to deliver meaningful care. They’re using an Onymos-powered IoMT solution as the foundation for a hybrid platform that combines their respiratory therapy device, HVT 2.0, with virtual care to ultimately start treating complex lung disease patients in their own homes.

If you need to evolve from “Telehealth 1.0,” get in touch with our team. We’ll help you transform.

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