Seattle startup 98point6 is bringing its virtual primary care solution to hundreds of thousands of new patients as part of a collaboration with Banner|Aetna, a health plan operated by Banner Health and Aetna.
“This is our first deal with a health plan. It’s also our largest contract to date,” CEO Robbie Cape said in an email. The company, which currently counts more than 100,000 members across 60 employers, could add an additional 300,000 members over three years as a result of the deal. The virtual primary care platform will be rolled out to the plan members in stages starting in July.
The idea behind 98point6 is to give patients around-the-clock access to care through their mobile device. Patients can refill prescriptions and diagnose an illness right from their phone. Physicians stand to save time and treat more patients with the help of the app, which uses AI chatbots to gather details such as symptoms.
98point6 created a custom version of its platform as part of its collaboration with the health plan, adding a process for in-network referrals. Banner|Aetna, which is based in Arizona, hopes the platform will get more patients to take advantage of primary care.
“We are committed to delivering convenience and affordability to our members, and our new virtual primary care offering accomplishes both. Our members will now be able to connect with board-certified physicians on their mobile device when and where they need it, increasing access to quality primary care,” Banner|Aetna CEO Tom Grote said in a statement.
98point6, a finalist for Health Innovation of the Year at the 2019 GeekWire Awards, was started in 2015 by Cape, who also founded the family scheduling app Cozi. Last year, 98point6 launched a virtual clinic app and raised $50 million in a financing round led by Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division.