Small Biz: Chattanooga startup contracts with national telehealth company

Small Biz: Chattanooga startup contracts with national telehealth company

January 29th, 2014 by Shelly Bradbury in Business Around the Region

Joshua Goldberg, chief technology officer; Riley Draper, chief communications and sales officer; and Harrison Tyner, CEO, from left, assess their company for Gigtank while at the Co.Lab off Main Street.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Chattanooga health care startup WeCounsel is stepping into the national telehealth market by developing a product for telepsychiatry service provider InSight - a move at the enterprise level that WeCounsel founders hope will complement the company's fledgling consumer business.

WeCounsel, an online telehealth platform that offers browser-based, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing sessions for counselors, signed a two-year contract with InSight to create a similar but customized platform exclusively for InSight.

The new product, called Inpathy, will be InSight's first browser-based online care, said Olivia Boyce, marketing and communications manager at InSight.

"All of our telepsychiatry so far is facility-based and uses traditional video conferencing equipment, which can be expensive," she said. "This is a whole other avenue that is a lot more cost-effective for clients."

She said the New Jersey company was impressed with WeCounsel's platform because it was HIPAA-compliant and highly customizable.

"I think they're a bright young group of guys and we have a very similar mission to increase access to care," she said.

WeCounsel plans to continue to promote its own online platform directly to consumers while managing the contract with InSight, chief marketing officer Riley Draper said. He expects the company's business to be split about 50-50 between enterprise-level and individual clients.

"We're still focused on our private practice and building our own provider panel of specialists, but we've also seen that working business-to-business with other enterprises has been really successful," Draper said. "With InSight, they've been in the industry for well over a decade. It's a lot easier working with someone like that who understands the technology and the model, versus trying to go to a private practice and convince and individual to change the way they offer their services."

About 75 individual mental health providers are currently using WeCounsel's private online platform, Draper said. He added he's not worried about InSight's new platform cannibalizing WeCounsel's customers.

"Their provider panel contracts with a lot of bigger clinics and hospitals, and our private practice is focused on small private practices, where they're treating individuals on a day-to-day basis and they'd like to provide alternative services to treat those clients from home," he said.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at sbradbury@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525.