HCF buys stake in telehealth service GP2U
Sydney, 22 January 2016 - HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, has taken a 15 per cent stake in telehealth start-up GP2U.
GP2U founder, Dr James Freeman, remains the majority shareholder of the company. Listed diagnostics company Sonic Healthcare (who took a similar stake to HCF in November last year) and Medical One co-founder Dr Andrew Pascoe are also shareholders in the company.
Sheena Jack, HCF Chief Strategy Officer said: “Our investment in GP2U demonstrates HCF's commitment to supporting innovation to deliver better health care to all Australians.”
“Telehealth has the ability to dramatically improve the convenience and accessibility of health care. We are delighted to be a part of GP2U and have been impressed with both the end-to-end technology platform and the team behind it.”
“HCF is constantly looking for new ways to support our members in caring for their health”. Ms Jack said. An initial pilot program will be run to ensure the telehealth services are scaled to the wider HCF membership as smoothly as possible.
“With only one doctor per 3,000 rural Australians, compared with one doctor per 1,000 in Australian cities, there is growing demand for reliable telehealth services. Our research indicates especially for those in regional and rural Australia, the ability to undertake a medical consultation from the comfort of their home is very appealing,” Ms Jack said.
The service also provides added convenience where prescriptions are required. Once the GP approves a prescription it is sent directly to the pharmacy for collection. GP2U has agreements in place with Terry White Chemists and Priceline to provide pharmacy services.
“GP2U has a history of innovation and in line with this history we are excited to launch two exciting new developments this month – a decision support tool to guide treatment options for Hep C medication and a weight loss program through a stand-alone website - www.theweightlossgp.com.au” said Dr Freeman.
GP2U has significant experience in helping Hep C patients. The welcomed recent announcement regarding Hep C medication on the PBS means that a significant volume of patients will be looking to access this treatment. “Approximately 250,000 people in Australia have Hep C and these tools will help enable doctors to deal with the huge increase in people seeking treatment” said Dr Freeman.
HCF GP2U investment