The COVID-19 pandemic propelled telehealth into the mainstream as patients sought out remote visits for sore throats and other non-emergency services. It’s also proved to be a strong tailwind for virtual specialty care.
That could make Summus Global a catch for primary care companies and other healthcare players that want to expand into providing second opinions or specialty care.
Summus offers a software as service (SaaS) platform that serves as a navigator for connecting patients to specialists in virtual sessions. Its network comprises more than 4,000 specialists in preventive care, chronic conditions and complex diagnoses across 48 hospitals. Patients can get specialty care for a wide range of conditions, including allergies, child development, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and cancer.
Summus, which was founded in 2015, sells to both employers and large health systems, including academic medical centers. The company reported earlier this year that the utilization rate of its platform tripled between January 2020 and January 2021.
In April, Summus scored $21 million in a series B funding round to enhance its virtual care platform. Sator Grove Holdings led the funding round, and participants included Outsiders Fund, Savoy Capital and Teamworthy Ventures. The startup has raised $22 million to date, according to Crunchbase.
The global second-opinion market was valued at $3.2 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $10.7 billion by 2027, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com.
Virtual healthcare is an area that's attracting a lot of deal activity. Primary care company Oak Street Health recently picked up virtual specialty care provider RubiconMD for $130 million. The deal enables Oak Street Health to integrate virtual specialty care into its existing care model, which will significantly streamline the referral process and better manage costs, while also enhancing the patient experience and providing comprehensive care far beyond traditional primary care, company executives said in a press release.
Earlier this year, Accolade announced plans to pay $460 million to acquire 2nd.MD, a company that helps patients get expert medical opinions via video or phone. By adding 2nd.MD's services, Accolade will help employers address the urgent medical needs that face employees in 2021, the company said.