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The Emerging Competition of E-Visits: A Changing Product Life Cycle


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Realy Health is a company that has operated in the Health Care environment for several years. This organization has developed a platform whereby patients are able to communicate with their doctors on-line for consultations. (https://www.relayhealth.com/default.aspx). The adoption of this service has been slowly growing for many years but has not received widespread acceptance in the marketplace by physician groups although there are many benefits that can be discerned from the platform for patients, or employers who might have employees who have doctors who are on such a platform. And, insurers such as Blue Cross and Cigna have also begun to accept that on-line visits are acceptable and are moving increasingly to reimbursing this approach. In spite of this growing trend less than 3% of the family physicians in the American Academy of Family practice report doing e-visits.(1)


In terms of the product life cycle this product is in the introductory stage of the life cycle. Recently there is a company called Sophrona Solutions (http://www.sophrona.com/aboutus.htm) that developed a platform that initially has been for ophthalmology practices. One of the larger developers is American Well (http://www.americanwell.com/) the producer of ON-line care which announced that it was bringing its on-line portal to the communities served by Ascension health.


The CEO of Relay Health has now called you in as a consultant to analyze this rapidly changing market. Provide a perspective around the key concepts discussed in the chapter of the product life cycle. Specifically addressing for him the following issues:

1. What stage of the product life cycle is this e-platform in now?

2. Examine the web site of Relay health and these competitors, what options are available for Relay Health to establish a differential advantage?

3. There are several Growth Strategy alternatives. Consider each alternative for Relay health. Which one did American Well employ? Which alternatives might be available to Relay Health? How might they be implemented?

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