Necessity is the mother of invention. This has never been more true than it is today as this tragic pandemic has served as the catalyst for incredible innovation and change. Telemedicine is the quintessential example and, over the last nine months, has seen unprecedented adoption. But with this rapid adoption, the limitations of telemedicine have also been on full display.
You cannot draw blood via telemedicine. You cannot administer a vaccine via telemedicine. While the use of telemedicine will continue to increase, as there are so many services perfectly suitable for virtual care, there are countless others that will forever be too complex.
This is why I could not be more excited to announce today that Ro has acquired Workpath, a software platform that powers on-demand, in-home healthcare services nationwide. With a simple API call, Workpath can coordinate in-home care and diagnostic services, ranging from blood draws to vaccinations.
This is a key addition to Ro’s vertically integrated primary care platform. The ability to send healthcare professionals to a patient’s home and conduct diagnostic tests significantly expands the scope of what is possible on the Ro platform. With a nationwide provider network, proprietary pharmacy distribution centers, and now an in-home care API, Ro is the first company to seamlessly connect telehealth, in-home diagnostics, and pharmacy services for patients across the country. The possibilities are nearly endless.
There are very few things that can be done in a doctor’s office or pharmacy that cannot be done online or in your home. As a result, we believe that ten years from now, more healthcare services will be delivered online or in-home than in every hospital, doctors office, or pharmacy combined. And the shift is already happening. Workpath’s weekly appointment volume has grown 165% since the first confirmed COVID-19 case was reported in the U.S and will power almost 100,000 in-home care appointments for clinical trial operators, Fortune 100 companies, and the nation’s largest diagnostic laboratories.
We’re in the early innings of a healthcare revolution and we think Workpath’s technology is an essential piece of the healthcare ecosystem of the future. As a result, in addition to Ro leveraging Workpath’s API within our platform, any healthcare company across the country can also integrate Workpath’s API to add in-home healthcare services to their platform.
Just as every company no longer has to build their own server stack thanks to AWS, we hope healthcare companies in the future won’t have to build their own nationwide phlebotomy network (Workpath currently reaches 95% of the US population), dispatch and routing software, or integrations with labs testing facilities. Instead, they can focus on what unique value they can add to a patient’s life rather than reinvent the wheel.
We know that because Ro is a customer and the owner of Workpath, there will be questions about how Workpath will operate as a part of Ro. We’ve thought deeply about governance with the guiding light that we should create a set of operating principles that would make Ro feel comfortable using Workpath if Workpath was purchased by our fiercest competitor.
As a result, Workpath will operate as an independent, autonomous entity within Ro. We are also publicly committing to the following three Governing Principles:
1. Parity of service
- Access: Ro has no ability to block or limit any customer’s access to Workpath for competitive reasons
- Pricing: Ro pricing on Workpath consistent with other customers of comparable scale and strategic importance.
2. Confidentiality of patient data
- Ro has no access to any patient data.
3. Confidentiality of customer data
- Ro can access who is using Workpath, but not how individual customers are using Workpath
- Ro has no access to customer-level metrics outside of total volume, revenue, and contribution profit on Workpath (except for audit purposes on a strictly as-needed basis).
Ro’s mission is to build a patient-centric healthcare system, and Ro’s acquisition of Workpath is an important step in bringing that future into reality. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Workpath to Ro.