The cannabis-focused digital health provider has acquired the telehealth business with plans for an 'end-to-end' experience.
Vitura, which owns medicinal cannabis prescription and supply telehealth planforms and clinics, has acquired Doctors on Demand for $25 million in a move to spread its wings and “heighten the patient experience”.
Doctors on Demand is a 24/7 telehealth service provided by over 20 registered Australia doctors. Consultations are privately billed and cost between $60 and $90.
Vitura is looking to expand the “everyday consultations” currently provided by Doctors on Demand to bolster “mental health [services], the smoking cessation program [and] medicated weight loss”, including expanding access to medications through an online medication prescription, supply and management platform, Vitura CEO Rodney Cocks told TMR.
According to Mr Cocks, a big part of Doctors on Demand’s future will be “heightening the patient experience through an end-to-end experience”.
This end-to-end experience, although still in the works, will build on the relationships the group already has with pharmacies nationwide through its current online prescription and supply platform CanView, to expand “beyond medicinal cannabis into other schedule 4 and schedule 8 medicines”, added Mr Cocks.
As it currently stands, the CanView platform allows patients to book and attend telehealth consultations through one platform. It also allows patients to track delivery of their medication and order repeat prescriptions, he said.
“This really puts the patient at the centre of their care, working with their doctor in relation to their care,” he said.
Mr Cocks said the Cannadoc and CDA clinics, which provide telehealth and clinic-based medicinal cannabis consultation respectively, will continue to run alongside Doctors on Demand, and all doctors will “continue to prescribe through their current arrangements”.
Vitura has been in the market to move beyond the medicinal cannabis space for some time, he said.
“We’ve been very successful operating our CanView platform business as well as our clinic businesses, which are predominantly focused on medicinal cannabis, and we’ve being a leader in that space for a number of years,” he said.
“We believe that we have had great success in disrupting that space and we’re looking forward to going deeper into healthcare through Doctors on Demand.”
Mr Cocks expected the move would make more patients aware of medicinal cannabis, but that it was “broader than just cannabis”.
“Everything we’re doing is looking at the patient experience and patient outcomes in terms of not just first and foremost clinical outcomes and patient safety, but also for convenience and timeliness point of view as well.
“We’re obviously very, very aware that that’s important to patients.”
Vitura also plans to build on Doctors on Demand’s work for insurers in industry, which “accounts for about half of their business”, said Mr Cocks.
“For us, Doctors on Demand ticked every box in terms of the business model, the tech stack, human capital, road they’ve travelled in evolving their business, and the support from major shareholders who are significant players in Australian healthcare, such as Signet Pharmaceuticals.”