Telehealth isn't a silver bullet

Illustration of stethoscope with USB cables instead of ear pieces
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Virtual health care is all the rage right now, especially among investors and tech companies.

Driving the news: Private equity and venture capital firms invested $10 billion into the sector in 2018, suggesting that the financial world certainly expects that the expanding sector will turn a profit.

The hidden cost of telehealth startups

Birth control pills in multicolors in a stack.
Photo: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

Telehealth startup Hims, a direct-to-consumer brand meant to provide solutions for men to erectile dysfunction and hair loss, launched a sister direct-to-consumer shop called Hers this week to provide women of all ages medical products such as skincare items to combat hair loss and acne, as well as birth control and Addyi, the only FDA-aproved product for hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Between the lines: Hims doesn’t accept insurance, per The Outline, and neither does Hers, per Forbes, which means the added privacy and convenience of ordering these products from home, skipping the pharmacy line, and a doctor’s visit, comes at a price, literally. For women in particular, this added cost could be prohibitive to jumping on board since birth control is free or low-cost with most insurance.