Shares of Teladoc Health ( TDOC 7.51% ) surged on Monday, jumping as much as 13%. As of 10:41 a.m. ET, the stock was still up 6.2%.
The catalyst that sent the digital healthcare stock higher was a major new partnership that should make accessing its services even more convenient.
Teladoc announced on Monday that it is teaming up with Amazon ( AMZN -0.69% ) to launch Teladoc on Alexa, the company’s digital assistant, bringing its services to Amazon’s wide range of hands-free smart speakers, including the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. The service will initially offer audio capability, with “video visits coming soon” for general medical needs.
To reach out to a healthcare professional, users simply say “Alexa, I want to talk to a doctor,” to their Echo device in order to be connected to a Teladoc call center representative. The patient will then receive a call back on their Echo device from a Teladoc doctor.
The service will cover a wide range of non-emergency services, including cold and flu symptoms, allergies, and more. Depending on the patient, the visit can cost as little as $0 with insurance, or $75 for those patients without insurance.
Teladoc Health has been hit hard over the past year, with the stock falling as much as 78% from its highs last February. The combination of a high valuation and doubts about the ongoing viability of telehealth have conspired to weigh on the once high-flying company.
However, investors who dismiss telemedicine outright may be missing the forest for the trees. These virtual care services not only make visits more convenient for those who would rather not go to the doctor’s office, but also expand the availability of healthcare to those in more remote locations.
Additionally, while post-pandemic adoption of telehealth may slow, a study from last year concluded that the majority of patients who have tried digital healthcare plan to continue using it going forward.
Given its position a global leader in virtual care, Teladoc Health is well positioned to benefit in the digital age.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.