Premier Health Group Inc. (PHGI:CSE; PHGRF:OTCQB; 6PH:FSE) has a vision: to bring together the human side of healthcare with cutting-edge technological innovations.
The small-cap firm has caught the attention of industry observers. Technical analyst Clive Maund wrote on November 14, "This morning we have what appears to be very positive news out of the company, which is that it has contracted to buy the company Livecare Health Canada, which is an established leader in the fast-growing Canadian telemedicine space. With the 50 and 200-day moving averages fast converging on the Premier chart, this could be the news that causes it to break out, and even if it doesn't, it is still looking good here."
Maund followed up on November 15, "Yesterday the stock gained 11% on the news that the company has contracted to buy Livecare Health Canada. . . We therefore stay long and the stock continues to be rated a buy whilst it remains within the Handle part of the Cup & Handle base."
"Premier Health Group's stock continues to be rated a buy." - Clive Maund
Premier Health sees 2019 as the year of building the infrastructure and the platform and 2020 is the year to execute on it. The Vancouver-based company is developing in a number of ways: releasing the MyHealthAccess app, which now has registered over 80,000 patients; contracting to acquire Livecare, a pioneering telemedicine company in Canada; collaborating with IBM to integrate its Watson artificial intelligence into its app; developing a physician tool for medical cannabis evaluation; acquiring Cloud Practice Inc., a medical software applications company whose electronic medical record system is used by clinics with around 3 million patients; and purchasing pharmacies to provide end to end, seamless care to its patients.
MyHealthAccess is a user-friendly telemedicine patient portal where people can directly interact with their healthcare providers and primary care clinics. Patients can book appointments 24/7, check on test results, and have telemedicine visits with their doctor.
"Onboarding and having over 80,000 patients live on our MyHealthAccess platform is a major milestone as we evolve our business and execute on our goal to increase access to healthcare through our app," said Essam Hamza, MD, CEO of Premier Health. "Eventually, our patients will have increased access to their charts, lab results, have the ability to securely chat with clinical staff, reorder prescriptions and share remote health monitoring data with their doctor—all at their fingertips. With a current ecosystem of 3 million patients in our EMR database, we expect to continue to accelerate patient onboarding as we deploy additional features over the coming months."
Livecare, which Premier Health is acquiring, was one of the first telemedicine companies in Canada. It offers "digital technologies that connect doctors and allied healthcare providers to their patients via secure, encrypted, face-to-face video and messaging. In addition to their telemedicine platform, they offer kindredPHR—a personalized health record used for storing, managing, and sharing your health information, thus enabling patients access to manage their own care and share amongst their multiple healthcare providers," Premier Health noted.
"We are excited about this opportunity to leverage Livecare's existing partnerships and technology," said Dr. Hamza. "Livecare has been a pioneer in telemedicine and their knowledge and relationships will be invaluable to our plans moving forward. A key aspect of integration includes their workflow for video consults, specializing in real time assessments with devices like Bluetooth-enabled stethoscopes and otoscopes for physical examination of patients remotely. Having tested the devices in my own practice, I was impressed with the quality of care I was able to provide from a distance, whether it was listening to a heartbeat or performing an ear exam."
Dr. Hamza noted that because Livecare has a long history and has established many partnerships, that will speed up Premier Health's expansion plans into Alberta, Ontario and beyond. "This is something that is going to be able to add some fuel to our expansion plans in 2020. It jumps us ahead much faster as well," he noted.
Premier Health is integrating IBM's Watson artificial intelligence into its app. "This is the first time the Watson AI division has gone into the primary clinic space, and is developing a chatbot to take on some of the administrative responsibilities of medical office staff, such as making appointments and providing information on when doctors are in, freeing staff up to better assist the doctors and patients in the office," Dr. Hamza explained. The bot uses natural language, so patients will be able to ask questions, such as where are you located, what are your hours, and what vaccines do I need for my child.
"The chatbot will become smarter over time and will have more features; eventually it will be able to connect with patients' charts and after authentication, will be able to answer very detailed questions about lab results or X-rays or be the conduit for messages from the doctor," Dr. Hamza detailed.
Also, over time, the company expects the digitization and aggregation of the data will make it possible to use it in a better way, to be able to draw lessons from it, such as which medications are more effective than others for specific conditions, or which have fewer side effects.
This artificial intelligence technology is in development currently and the first iteration is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2020, the company noted.
In addition, Premier Health purchased two operating pharmacies in Vancouver so that it could expand its services. "The last thing we want is to offer telemedicine services at home or at the office, and then the patient has to drag their kids out of the house to go across town to pick up a prescription," Dr. Hamza explained. "The pharmacies we acquired are standalone, cash-flow positive, with a very strong, capable team that would join us and help us move forward. We see the potential to partner with pharmacies to deliver prescriptions; in the case of a frail person, potentially a specialty pharmacy in the area could service them with their nurses to not only deliver the medication, but also check in to make sure they are on top of their care."
This summer, Premier Health joined with CB2 Insights to develop clinical decision support tools on its platform so that healthcare practitioners have access "to the industry's only data-driven platform that guides clinicians through the evaluation process for medical cannabis treatment."
Premier Health has approximately 80.7 million shares outstanding, 91.4 million fully diluted. The firm has $2.5 million in the bank, adequate funds, according to the company, to last until the end of 2020.[NLINSERT]
1) Patrice Fusillo compiled this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an employee. She or members of her household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. She or members of her household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
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Clive Maund does not own shares of Premier Health and neither he nor his company has been paid by Premier Health.