Two years ago, our lives were thrown into chaos by the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost overnight, the healthcare system was brought to its knees by a the simultaneous combination of increased utilization and decreased capacity. In an effort to continue seeing patients who needed care during these challenging times, we needed a new strategy. How could we effectively deliver care to patients when they're all at home? How can we make sure nobody is falling through the cracks?

Over the next 3 months we all sat back and witnessed what can only be described as a profound explosion in telemedicine utilization, with visits skyrocketing to 80x their pre-pandemic levels. In one quarter, our industry advanced 5 years in digital advancement. Now, two years in, we're settling in to almost 40x the volume of telemedicine visits compared to where we started. One thing is clear: telehealth services will be a part of our future. But we still have so much to learn about how.

Reshaping the Encounter

Taking a step back, we'd do well to remind ourselves that healthcare is much more than the medical management of a disease state. In fact, the biggest problems faced by our healthcare system have little to do with our ability to treat disease. Instead, we struggle to make known treatments accessible and affordable to those who need it most. We struggle to create accountability structures that help patients achieve results. We struggle to engage patients when they're not in the walls of the health system. In short, we struggle to connect patients and their care providers.

I believe that the power of virtual care is in its potential to change the fundamental method by which we deliver care, to help us reduce the friction between patients and their care teams, to power digital touchpoints that engage patients like any other modern product, to create accountability structures that help patients achieve their health goals, and of course, to help lower overall cost of care. The next wave of healthcare advancement will come from bridging online and offline care experiences to create a single, longitudinal health journey that directs patients to the right level of care for their needs at any given time.

Celebrating the Changemakers

Think about chronic disease management for a condition like diabetes (which affects over 37 million Americans). Diabetes is a constant challenge, not something that flares up every quarter when you show up to get your A1c checked. Yet for so many patients, this is the extent of the interaction they have with their care team. By combining virtual care with in-person visits, this chronic disease can be addressed on a daily basis through offerings like access to endocrinology visits for patients who live in healthcare deserts, remote monitoring of blood glucose levels to help detect, manage, and eventually prevent acute events, or coaching and consultations with a dietitian to promote lifestyle changes that can lead to better health outcomes and ultimately reduce dependence on medications. This isn’t just a theory. Companies like Virta are already proving that this can work, at scale.

We're not limited to chronic disease management, either. Whether it’s post-operative recovery or recovery from a health event like a heart attack, acute care patients often face significant life and health status changes when they leave the walls of the hospital. For these patients, virtual care can offer support with a new routine, easier access to their providers for questions or concerns that may arise, and the ability to monitor progress and identify problems before they land a patient back in the ER. Recora Health has shown early success with their cardiac recovery program through greater rates of completion and reduction in rehospitalization events.

Even something as common as childbirth has so much room to improve. The United States ranks last among industrialized countries for maternal mortality rates, and that rate has increased in the past few years. Recently, we’ve seen a wave of new companies aiming to leverage virtual care to provide personalized care teams and 24/7 access to clinicians throughout a person’s pregnancy journey, with an eye on improving overall maternal health outcomes and reducing racial disparities for pregnancy complications. Maven Clinic, an early entrant in the space, touts a 20% reduction in C-section rates and a 32% reduction in NICU admissions.

These companies are just a small sample of the innovative work happening in virtual care, but they've all faced similar challenges. The tools that exist to power healthcare simply weren't built for this collaborative, always-on, customizable environment in which we're trying to use them. Until now, virtual care companies have either been forced to use legacy tools that were not designed for the needs of a their practice, or build their own tech stack from the ground up.

Introducing Source

At Source, we believe the digital revolution in healthcare is just getting started. We know there’s a community of builders out there striving to make healthcare better for everyone through increased access, lower costs, and improved patient outcomes & experiences. Our mission is to support those builders along the way, with the tools and information they need to create engaging and impactful digital health offerings.

So, today, I'm thrilled to share that Source has raised $3M in venture funding from First Round Capital, Box Group, Vast Ventures, and a number of prominent healthcare angels. These forward looking funds and partners believe in our shared vision for the future of care delivery. With this incredible group of partners around the table, we're unveiling what we've been building for the last year - our take on the infrastructure layer for virtual care delivery. But beyond software, Source is a community of digital health builders and operators that come together to share lessons learned and tips for the road ahead, and we're excited for you to join us.

Start by learning everything you need to know about building and launching a virtual care business in our Virtual Care Playbook, check out our first From the Source spotlight series to hear stories directly from other builders, and sign up for our mailing list to get in touch. Or, if you’re currently operating a virtual care business and want to learn more about Source, feel free to get in touch with our team - we'd love to chat.

We can't wait to see what you build.

Colin Morelli
Co-founder & CEO, Source