Direct-to-consumer virtual health company Ro is turning to the in-home healthcare space with the acquisition of digital platform Workpath.
Founded in 2015, Workpath created a tool that can offer on-demand in-home care services through an API system. Through the app virtual care providers can request to send in-home blood draws or in-home nurse visits to a patient.
The company’s API is able to send requests to either a phlebotomist or nurse (starting in 2021) with skills matching the needs of the patients. The system is also able to handle scheduling and can integrated sample vials into the lab partners. It is also able to handle billing and insurance information.
As part of the deal, the service will be integrated into Ro’s virtual care platform, meaning that it will now be able to offer in-person care options on top of its telemedicine care.
Following the acquisition, Workpath will continue operating as an independent autonomous entity and can work with other virtual health care companies.
In addition to the acquisition news, Ro also announced a new partnership with Quest in order to process its labs. The idea is for Ro to be able to provide diagnostic capabilities to its patients and act more as an integrated primary care platform. Specifically, the company said that having this lab integration will help the company expand into chronic condition management.
WHY IT MATTERS
Ro has continued to grow out its services. The company got its start in men’s sexual wellness and health products and later expanded into the women’s care space. However, this will be the company’s first in-person care service.
“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, cofounder 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.”
THE LARGER TREND
Over the summer, Ro entered unicorn territory after it landed $200 million Series C funding, and a $1.5 billion valuation. During the funding announcement, Reitano hinted the company was looking to expand Ro’s at-home services and in-person lab services. Ro services now include men and women’s sexual health, smoking cessation, weight management, allergies, and prescription dermatology.
Ro isn’t the only direct-to-consumer virtual platform. Its main competitor is Hims, which also started in the sexual health space. In October, Hims announced a merger agreement with Oaktree Capital Management-sponsored special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Oaktree Acquisition Corp.