I can be a bit of a hypochondriac.
Not in the clinical sense. But I’m one of those people who wants to see a doctor as soon as I notice something is wrong.
The problem is, I absolutely hate going to the doctor’s office or an urgent care clinic.
I hate sitting in a crowded room with a bunch of people coughing on me. And when I already feel lousy, the last thing I want to do is drag myself to the doctor.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be happy to know that technology gives us a solution. It’s not a Star Trek transporter — at least not yet — but it’s the next best thing.
And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be happy to know that this is a great investment opportunity. In fact, the leading stock is up 125% in just the last 10 months …
A trip to the doctor’s office is not exactly a day in the park, especially if you’re already miserable. From waiting in a small reception area for who knows how long to spending more time at the pharmacy to get a prescription filled, there’s nothing fun about it.
It may never be fun, but it’s getting a whole lot easier thanks to a new trend called telehealth. Instead of spending half a day at a doctor’s office just to find out you need antibiotics — which you probably already knew — you can be checked out by a doctor from the comfort of your bed. And you can have any prescriptions automatically sent to the pharmacy.
As technology allows more to be done remotely — especially with the blazing speeds of 5G — virtual doctor visits are the future. Actually, they are the present as well for a lot of people. Customers of the global leader in telehealth report a satisfaction rate of over 90%. This shows the growth potential as telehealth becomes more mainstream.
I think of it as a win-win-win-win situation. Customers — patients in this case — win as virtual visits are so much easier and convenient. Insurance companies win because everything is cheaper. Doctors win because they can see more patients. And investors win because they can make money.
Disrupting an Enormous Industry
One of the largest health insurers in the country, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), recently published some eye-opening stats on virtual healthcare. Of 5,000 respondents to a survey, three-quarters said they would consider virtual care.
Telemedicine can be especially important in preventative care. Ninety percent of respondents said they would cancel or reschedule a wellness visit if it conflicted with work. Virtual healthcare’s ease and convenience should increase the number of preventative visits.
One of the biggest impacts will be in rural areas, where access to healthcare is still too often lacking. There are 7,200 such areas in the United States, in which about 85 million Americans are underserved.
And then there’s the bottom line. Money talks, and health insurers such as UnitedHealth Group could save $6 billion annually. For example, a $1,800 trip to the emergency room could cost less than $50 virtually!
No wonder this trend is taking off. From 2014 to 2018, virtual care usage increased 624%!
It may not be as popular yet with older generations that are used to seeing their doctor in person instead of on a screen, but millennials (who are accustomed to having everything at their fingertips) are game for remote visits. And don’t underestimate the Baby Boomers. They are aging with a higher technology comfort level than any other generation, so I expect usage in older demographics to increase as well.
Multiplying Your Money
Emerging industries often do not have a clear leader, but telehealth does.
Teladoc (NYSE:TDOC) has over 35 million members that can be put in contact with 7,000 network clinicians and more than 50,000 experts that cover 450+ specialties. All this — 24 hours a day — in under 10 minutes, whether it’s via the phone, internet, or mobile app.
This innovative healthcare company currently has over 50% of the U.S. telehealth market, and it is rapidly growing overseas as well. Teladoc delivers care in 175 countries and more than 40 languages.
The company is not yet profitable, but in this case, I’m more interested in revenue growth … and I like what I see. Revenue in 2018 soared to $418 million, up 79% from the year before. For 2019, revenue is expected to come in at $549 million before increasing to $689 million in 2020 and $846 million in 2021.
Teladoc is expected to turn a profit in 2022, and then by 2023 earnings are estimated to be $0.82 per share.
The stock has been on a tear for most of the last year and is now up nearly 175% since I first recommended it in Investment Opportunities.
For a company that has exploded over 1,000% in four short years, this is still only the start. TDOC has blown through my current buy limit, but I think it could be a great pickup on the right pullback.
Matthew McCall left Wall Street to actually help investors — by getting them into the world’s biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. The power of being “first” gave Matt’s readers the chance to bank +2,438% in Stamps.com (STMP), +1,523% in Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and +1,044% in Tesla (TSLA), just to name a few. Click here to see what Matt has up his sleeve now. Matt does not directly own the aforementioned securities.