Telemedicine Magazine: Teladoc has done more than 1.5 million patient visits as of today and you recently did a deep dive into that data. What’s the most important lesson that you learned from investigating the data at this benchmark?
Alan Roga: I wouldn’t say that there was one lesson that was more important than the others, but there were things we found in the data that were great to see. For instance, we learned that our prescribing rate is in line with an in-office visit. Also, we learned that the average user is a 36-year-old female and that 44 percent of the time they actually have a comorbidity. So our patients aren’t just college kids with pink eye. We looked at 12 comorbidities, including diabetes, high blood pressure, COPD; so, 44 percent of our patients actually have one or more of these.
TM: Were you surprised at the profile of a typical Teladoc user?
ROGA: If you look at the data out there, like the Department of Labor studies, they show that 80 percent of the healthcare decisions are made by the female head of the household. So when our data showed that 63 percent of our users were female, that simply validated what’s already been seen out there. The fact that our average user is 36 is probably reflective of the market and the dynamics. The telehealth space was very much born in the employer space because they were the ones originally saying: We want to see more cost effective measures for care delivery. And then it migrated to the payer space. And now you’re really seeing it move into the hospital space because the dollars are being shifted. So I think the fact that our user is a 36-year-old female is reflective at some level of the stage of the market.