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Nurx Telehealth platform focuses on women’s health

Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous and Kristin Myers discuss the future of telehealth with Nurx Chief Medical Officer Jennifer Pena, MD.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Even before COVID-19, telemedicine was a growing part of health care, but thanks to the pandemic, the popularity of taking our doctors appointments virtually has skyrocketed. And some experts say that telehealth is about where it would have been in 2030, if not for the pandemic. One beneficiary of that is Nurx, the telehealth company saw unprecedented growth over the past year. And joining us now to talk about it is Nurx's chief medical officer, Dr. Jennifer Peña. Doctor, good to see you again tell us what business is like for Nurx's services now, one year into the pandemic?

JENNIFER PENA: Nice to see you, Alexis, and thank you for having me back. You know, Nurx and other telehealth platforms have seen tremendous growth during 2020 because of the pandemic. At Nurx, we've seen tremendous growth across our service lines. We have over 350,000 active patients.

We've seen growth even in specific service lines that we've launched recently with acne. We've seen tremendous growth through our migraine service lines, which we also just launched, and our revenue grew tremendously. We're on our pathway to profitability here in 2021, our NPS score of 85%. So we're really looking at a successful year.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: So doctor, I know you just mentioned that you're expanding beyond birth control and now launching acne treatments. Why did you make that decision to move into the dermatological space?

JENNIFER PENA: Yeah, that's a great question. So our new service lines are launched in response to patient demand. So we had birth control patients that were coming to our service asking for birth control to control their acne, and so we responded, in turn, by creating a real medical acne treatment line. Our medical team was seeing these patients were struggling with this condition, and we wanted to do more than just give them birth control, prescribe them actual other options for their acne.

And remember, acne is more than just cosmetic. It really affects self-esteem and how people engage with the world. And dermatology, unfortunately, tends to be expensive and inaccessible often, and so it fits with the mission of breaking down barriers to care, and it was really an amazing service that our patients wanted.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: What about care for areas where it might be difficult to do things via telemedicine. I think dermatology, and I think, well, wait a minute, maybe the doctor needs to see and feel my skin and get a closer look. How effective is it to do something like that virtually?

JENNIFER PENA: Yeah, it's a great question. So actually, we would never launch a line that we would not be able to provide care that's equal or better than the patient would receive in a traditional in-person doctor's office. And for better or for worse, stakeholders are starting to embrace this concept of the model of asynchronous care, where you can message with a patient and get photographs of things like skin and make diagnoses and appropriate treatments that way.

Payers and providers and other industry stakeholders have initially been reluctant to engage with that kind of model, but they've been won over because of 2020 and the pandemic. The pandemic accelerated that understanding that care can be safely and efficiently delivered this way. And providers who maybe were not initially bought in either have bought in as well because they feel that they can provide care that's more comprehensive, that's not rushed with their patients, and they can directly communicate with patients, and in many cases, that just results in better care.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: So doctor, we have 30 seconds left. Curious to know if you think that telehealth is going to be a permanent change to the health care industry. Folks have been at home this whole time and now don't think that they need to rush off to wait in a doctor's office to be seen.

JENNIFER PENA: Absolutely. They keep saying the future of telehealth, it's the present of telehealth. Telemedicine is here, it's very present, and it's no longer a stopgap measure. It's no longer a one off, I need to call to get a prescription. If you can't get an appointment with your provider, it's the other way around. It's this is the first stop that most people are using to actually get their care. And then they go to the in-person provider when they need to, absolutely when they need to.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, incredible growth there at Nurx. Dr. Jennifer Peña, thanks so much.