Joyce Nwatuobi

Opportunity | Growth in virtual care: New ways of delivering health care gained momentum in 2020 as hospitals grappled with the challenges of the pandemic – and more consumers were staying in their homes. About 20% of all medical visits were estimated to be conducted via telemedicine in 2020, which represents $29.3 billion in medical services, according to Doximity. Meanwhile, spending for virtualizing health care can go up to $106 billion by 2023. A Milwaukee-area startup is using emerging technologies to better deliver health care to the masses in a post-pandemic world.

ThriveHealth, a digital health company in Milwaukee, was founded in February 2020 by Joyce Nwatuobi, previously the senior vice president of finance operations at Aurora Health Care. Nwatuobi had the vision for ThriveHealth in 2018 as she saw a growing need for health systems to catch up with the use of technology in the delivery of health care, especially for the ethnic minority population.

By April of 2020, ThriveHealth secured its first customer and partnered with a physician group with over 50 multi-specialists to provide virtual care to rural and community hospitals in the Midwest.

“I think the opportunity today is huge because not only are you making care accessible to patients – good care – you are also saving the health care ecosystem money,” said Nwatuobi, who leads the company as its CEO. “The money for buildings can go into providing even better care.”

ThriveHealth offers services via two platforms. iThrive, a web-based telehealth platform designed by physicians for better patient experience and workflow optimization, allows virtual care via unlimited video and audio visits. The platform has active subscribers in 10 U.S. states, six countries and four continents. The platform also features specialist support into critical access hospitals from the company’s pool of more than 200 aligned nephrologists and other related medical specialists.

The second platform is a multi-speciality mobile app for on-demand patient care. The app takes the gig economy approach, where independent providers have the flexibility to determine their own schedule, along with patients being able to access care at anytime, from any place.

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