Cleveland Clinic, American Well Partner on New Telemedicine Venture

Oct. 23, 2019
The provider organization’s leaders project that in just five years, 50 percent of outpatient visits will be virtual

The Cleveland Clinic and telemedicine company American Well are partnering on a new project with the aim to provide broad access to comprehensive and high-acuity care services via remote-based care.

Together, the organizations will form a Cleveland-based joint venture company, dubbed The Clinic, which will offer virtual care from Cleveland Clinic’s specialized healthcare professionals through American Well’s digital health technology platform, officials said in an announcement this week.

The Clinic will offer online access to care across a wide array of specialties without requiring individuals to leave their homes. Through a digital platform powered by American Well, people from around the world will be able to connect with Cleveland Clinic’s specialists and receive insights, opinions, recommendations, and assistance for a variety of conditions, according to officials.

“This new venture marks the first time that a major digital health technology platform has partnered with a globally recognized healthcare provider to deliver digital solutions for complex healthcare problems. This new digital health service will provide access to world-class Cleveland Clinic expertise and quality of care for patients in the U.S. and internationally,” Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic, said in a prepared statement.

The new vehicle is being funded by a capital infusion from both the parent companies, yet neither disclosed the amount, according to an article in Yahoo Finance.

For the last five years, Cleveland Clinic and American Well have collaborated to deliver non-emergency and specialty care via telehealth through Cleveland Clinic Express Care Online. The digital health service is available 24 hours a day for patients throughout the U.S. to receive a quick diagnosis for a variety of minor injuries or illnesses through a virtual visit.

An early adopter of digital health services, Cleveland Clinic has had a rapid increase in the use of virtual visits to deliver patient care. In 2018 alone, the number of annual virtual visits grew 68 percent. Telehealth is a key part of Cleveland Clinic’s growth strategy to double the number of patients served in the next five years; organization leaders project that in just five years, 50 percent of outpatient visits will be virtual.

“As the adoption and value of telehealth grows, there is significant potential to further advance the digital distribution of care,” said Ido Schoenberg, M.D., chairman and CEO, American Well. “Cleveland Clinic has long been at the forefront of offering virtual visits, and we’re thrilled to partner more closely with them to expand the frontiers for digital care delivery.”