Wall Street Is Wrong (Again) About This 69% Winner

Livongo makes devices that allow healthcare providers to remotely monitor health metrics such as blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, and even behavioral health – critical for health care from a distance.

Despite its clear disruptive potential in the $1.3 trillion U.S. medical market, Teladoc is grossly oversold once again. I believe Teladoc's best performance is ahead of it; according to a Harris survey, 65% of consumers surveyed plan to use telehealth even after the pandemic ends.

Wall Street, apparently, is convinced we're all champing at the bit to go back to the doctor's office…

Bunk.

Speaking just for myself and my wife, neither of us has actually, physically visited a doctor for a routine appointment – we do it all by phone and teleconference. It's faster, with much less hassle, and zero worry of catching COVID-19 or any other bug from a sick or asymptomatic patient in the waiting room.

We were hardly alone; virtual visits rose 1,000% in March 2020 and another 4,000% by that April.

And even with 3 million-plus vaccinations per day and around 40% of American adults inoculated to one degree or another, we're not looking to get that particular aspect of our lives back to normal anytime soon.

Not only do 60% of consumers agree, but in reality, this trend has been underway long before the coronavirus pandemic exploded. As far back as 2017, the American Hospital Association (AHA) noted the number of medical providers using telehealth had doubled in the preceding seven years.

Pandemic or no, Teladoc's consumer appeal is undeniable. It has all the advantages I mentioned a moment ago, and its network of physicians deals in 450 specialties; there's not a single "brick and mortar" urgent care facility or doctor's office in the country that can bring that kind of medical firepower to bear on what ails you. Only the biggest hospitals come close.

That Teladoc does all this in full compliance with HIPAA privacy regulations and standard, clinical care guidelines is all the more impressive.

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