Digital health startup Ro expands into home-based care with Workpath acquisition

Virtual health company Ro is venturing into home-based healthcare market by acquiring software company Workpath.

Richmond, Virginia-based Workpath is a software platform that enables healthcare companies to offer on-demand, in-home care and diagnostic services with a simple application programming interface (API).

The technology can send providers to patients' homes to draw blood instead of sending patients to the doctor's office. Workpath, founded in 2015, developed technology that enables healthcare companies to dispatch phlebotomists and other providers to perform services ranging from blood draws to vaccinations from a patient's home.

The company’s full-service platform includes scheduling and dispatch software, a nationwide network of healthcare professionals, diagnostic processing, and reporting.

Workpath is available to 95% of patients across the country and facilitates in-home healthcare services for clinical trial operators, Fortune 100 companies, and the nation's largest diagnostic laboratories, the company said.

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It's the first acquisition for Ro and enables the company to seamlessly integrate virtual and in-person care on its own platform and offer these in-home capabilities to other healthcare companies, the company said in a press release. Telehealth company Ro started out three years ago selling erectile dysfunction medication and hair loss supplements to men. The company has since built out a telehealth company with three online health clinics, and now it wants to expand into remote monitoring for chronic conditions.

The startup landed a $200 million funding round in July and has raised a total of $376 million since its founding in 2017.

The ability to send healthcare professionals to, and conduct diagnostic tests in, a patient’s home significantly expands the scope of Ro’s vertically-integrated platform and advances the company’s strategy of becoming a patient’s first call for all of their healthcare needs. 

"Ten years from now, more healthcare services will be delivered online or in-home than in every hospital, doctor's office, or pharmacy combined, and this acquisition will help accelerate that change," Zachariah Reitano, co-founder and CEO of Ro, said in a statement.

"The powerful new platform we’re creating enables Ro, and countless other healthcare companies, to deliver care whenever and wherever patients need it. We look forward to welcoming Workpath to the Ro family and together setting a new standard for vertically integrated healthcare delivery," he said.

Workpath and its API will continue to be available to other healthcare companies.

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"We are excited to be joining forces with Ro to create a leader in delivering care to patients when and where they need it. Like Workpath, Ro shares a dedication to using technology to simplify healthcare for providers and patients alike. This transaction is a clear validation of our team’s hard work and the significant opportunities that lie ahead," Eddie Peloke, CEO of Workpath, said.

The acquisition of Workpath will enable Ro to connect a patient’s doctor, pharmacy, and lab on its vertically-integrated platform, enabling end-to-end care from diagnosis to the delivery of medication to ongoing care. Given that seven of every ten healthcare decisions require blood work, Ro will start by offering in-home phlebotomy (blood test) services with results directly delivered through Ro's platform. 

To this end, the digital health company also announced Tuesday a partnership with Quest Diagnostics, which operates more than 2,200 locations nationwide, to process its lab tests.

The partnership marks the first diagnostic services provider to collaborate with Ro to help patients manage chronic conditions through virtual and in-home care. The tie-up with Quest Diagnostics will support Ro's expansion in the treatment and management of chronic and complex medical conditions facilitated on its platform.