Telehealth, which connects patients with doctors and therapists for virtual appointments by video or phone, has exploded since the start of the pandemic. A recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation concluded that approximately 36 percent of appointments for mental health and addiction, as well as 5 percent of other outpatient visits, continued to take place virtually through 2021. Several alumni entrepreneurs are at the forefront of this booming industry that is expanding access to care.
K Health delivers virtual concierge care, in which patients, whether insured or not, receive unlimited access to the company’s network of doctors through $29 monthly plans. Cofounded in 2016 by Allon Bloch ’97BUS, the CEO, K Health specializes in urgent and primary care, including the treatment of diabetes, hypothyroidism, anxiety, and depression, as well as help with quitting smoking.
Mantra Health offers virtual mental-health services for college students. Cofounded in 2018 by Matt Kennedy ’17BUS, Ed Gaussen, and Columbia psychiatrist Ravi Shah, the company partners with counseling centers at more than fifty colleges and universities across the US to supplement their services with telehealth, which is provided as a student benefit.
Founded in 2016 by New York City physician Robin Berzin ’11VPS, Parsley Health takes a holistic approach to treating complex, hard-to-diagnose conditions ranging from autoimmune disorders to digestive problems. Combining traditional and alternative treatment methods, the concierge telehealth company also specializes in mental-health issues such as insomnia and problems with focus.
Valera Health, cofounded in 2015 by physician and entrepreneur Thomas Tsang ’02PH, treats patients suffering from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental disorders. The company also partners directly with doctors’ offices and insurance plans to integrate its app and videoconferencing into their services.
This article appears in the Fall 2022 print edition of Columbia Magazine with the title "Healthy Prospects for Telemedicine Companies."