Quick Summary: Second largest healthcare company with a net income of a whopping $13.8 billion had adopted the virtual care delivery approach – after almost 42 years of its inception – with the launch of an on-demand telemedicine app in 2019.
UnitedHealthcare going all in on *One app to rule them all*. 🤔
“The goal, he said, is to ultimately build a “one-stop shop” … integration with wellness programs, claims data and remote patient monitoring are likely on the horizon.”https://t.co/3P5g0ptsuK
— Chris Hogg (@cwhogg) October 10, 2019
Available both on Apple App Store and Google Play Store, the app is exclusive to the members of UnitedHealthcare. (For your context, UnitedHealthcare has a total of 27 million employer plan members.)
What makes this move very interesting is the fact that UnitedHealthcare is a healthcare insurance company. They could have invested in insurtech rather than health tech. But what must have inspired them to consider telemedicine is nothing but the limitless potential virtual care holds.
If you agree with this, you will find this blog very useful – with us assessing UnitedHealthcare’s on-demand telemedicine app and sharing why its future is very uncertain.
Which virtual care services members can seek from UnitedHealthcare’s telemedicine app?
The idea of any telemedicine app is to enable users to talk to a provider with a smartphone, tablet, or computer. This concept is called virtual care.
However, multiple types of virtual care services can be provided based on the nature of the medical condition.
For example, UnitedHealthcare provides the following types of virtual care services.
How long should users wait to receive virtual care services from the UnitedHealthcare app?
The ideal virtual care wait time has been a debate material ever since its takeoff. Some argue that it must be in the form of click-and-connect. Whereas, some argue that it must be as per the given appointment time and date.
But UnitedHealthcare offers both options. For its virtual urgent care service, the typical wait time is just 10-15 minutes.
And for its rest of the virtual care services, the typical wait time is 2 days.
Do users receive a prescription from UnitedHealthcare’s on-demand telemedicine app?
Yes. If the provider feels the need for a prescription, he/she can write a Prescription and share it with the patient. Each prescription gets stored under the patient profile.
Not only this but patients can select the nearest pharmacy they would like to pick up the prescription from or opt-in for its doorstep delivery option. Based on patients’ selection, the prescription is automatically sent to that pharmacy for fulfillment.
Talking about the ePrescription feature in telemedicine apps, it is the most crucial feature.
Just think by yourself, does it make any sense if the user receives consultation from the comfort of home but to get the medication, the user needs to get out of bed and travel to the pharmacy?
Lately, all the healthcare startups and companies have started asking this question themselves and you know what the result is –
You can now hardly find any telemedicine app without the ePrescription feature and any pharmacy app without telemedicine features!
What does the Vice President of product innovation at UnitedHealthcare have to say about its telehealth app?
Well, this is the major highlight.
As per Pat Keran – Vice President of product innovation at UnitedHealthcare, the new on-demand telehealth app from UnitedHealthcare is very unique in nature because of two major reasons.
Our healthcare IT experts strongly believe, these are very smart moves by UnitedHealthcare. They really know what matters the most in any healthcare app – its user experience and its backend.
Because the backend is like the kitchen of the restaurant and UI/UX (frontend) is like the dining area.
Everything must be organized well in the kitchen to quickly prepare and serve delicious food in the dining area. Because, only a well-decorated dining area does not justify the purpose.
Moreover, the kitchen must have the capability to serve a more number of customers that restaurants generally receive on weekends.
And not only this, but the kitchen must also be ‘scalable’ in such a way that in the future, it can easily accommodate new equipment if you decide to scale up the operations – without breaking any existing wall and with just slight adjustments to the existing kitchen plan!
What is the future plan of UnitedHealthcare with its telemedicine app?
This is really anticipated.
Like all other top healthcare companies, UnitedHealthcare too wants to build a healthcare super app.
If you are not aware of it, a super app is from where users can receive multiple services – rather than just one service.
For example, a healthcare super app is equipped with app modules to support multiple services like telemedicine, mental health, online pharmacy, women wellness, remote patient monitoring, healthcare eCommerce, etc.
Pat Keran considered this concept as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for healthcare needs. In fact, he had already nodded yes that healthcare super app is what UnitedHealthcare is targeting next.
However, we believe in something tragic. Yes, the future of UnitedHealthcare’s telemedicine app is very uncertain. Here is why
Being a healthcare IT company, we have worked with both healthcare startups and big healthcare companies like UnitedHealthcare.
And as a result, we know both their strengths and weaknesses.
So, if we put our experience and observations to good use and connect the dots, we don’t think UnitedHealthcare’s ambition to build a ‘one-stop-shop’ for healthcare can be accomplished.
Here are the 5 solid reasons for that.
Anyway, let’s for a sec, talk about your health tech vision and app idea.
If you are up to something like this, we would love to talk to you. Our discussions would be productive and more centric on innovation, ideas, technologies, and business models. And of course, the UI/UX, development, and QA testing parts.
To just give you an idea of our work quality, let us leave you with the real screens of the white-label patient portal software we have just built!