"America's healthcare system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system."
-- Walter Cronkite
There are few issues in the United States more divisive than healthcare. Some agree with Walter Cronkite, saying the whole arrangement is intolerably inefficient and expensive. Others point out the exceptional quality of care Americans receive in return for their money.
While Americans may not see eye-to-eye on the subject's political implications, there's one thing everyone can agree on -- the face of the sector is rapidly changing. With innovations being made every year in medical technology and pharmacology and a greater number of elderly patients in the U.S. than ever before, now is as good a time as ever to invest in the companies that are riding these technological and demographic waves.
Teladoc (NYSE: TDOC) is a New York-based company that provides services in the growing telehealth industry. In case you've never heard of it, telehealth refers to medical technologies that allow patients to access remote care through mobile devices and the internet.
This means that if you're concerned about your health, you can contact a variety of licensed medical professionals electronically, avoiding the cumbersome process of making a physical appointment. Teladoc goes a step further than that, allowing patients to submit their medical records, access specialized services, and even receive prescriptions through its platform.
Launched in 2002, Teladoc is actually the oldest company of its kind, a true innovator in the telemedicine space. It derives its revenue from subscription-fees, usually paid by corporate clients (including as much as 40% of the Fortune 500) on behalf of their employees. Users can also pay a one-time visit fee to access a range of services.
Following several successful rounds of funding, the company went public in 2015 and has been going from strength to strength since then. Indeed, last year, it pulled in revenue of $418 million, representing year-on-year growth of 79%. We've picked it as one of our 3 stocks for an aging population.
Evolent Health (NYSE: EVH) was founded in 2011 as an alliance between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the medical consulting firm, Advisory Board. The company's seemingly-impossible goal is to improve the quality of healthcare while simultaneously slashing costs.
How does it plan to do this?
By investing in its data analytics wing, the company can perform targeted interventions for its patients based on their medical records and other factors, as well as tracking their visits and outcomes.
The company went public in 2015, closing the day with a $1 billion market cap. At the time of its IPO, Evolent had secured ten contracts with institutions such as Piedmont WellStar and Indiana University. Evolent's contracts are not typical for consulting firms, however. The company likes to stress that its partnerships are intended to last decades rather than years.
As well as its commitment to fulfilling long-term contracts, Evolent also emphasizes the human side of its business. The word 'care' in healthcare is not incidental, after all.
In the words of CEO Frank Williams, Evolent owed its rapid success to the management team's hands-on approach to its clients: "We were in the field, getting real feedback -- not in a lab."
MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently hold long positions in Evolent Health and Teladoc. Read our full disclosure policy here.
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