The process of passing from yesterday to tomorrow is suddenly happening at light speed. You thought it was fast a decade ago? A year ago? Sure, it was. It has been accelerating, as well documented in James Gleick’s era-defining instant classic book, “Faster”, for decades. But what seemed like “faster” in 1999 (when the landmark book hit the shelves) is now “way, way, way faster” thanks to the crisis brought to humanity courtesy of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The pandemic has reshaped society in endless ways, and many of them will be with us far past the widespread dissemination of the vaccine, whenever it arrives on the scene.
Commercial real estate debtholders will no doubt be dealing with work-from-home normalization where just months ago there were steady rent-paying clients. Airlines will be dealing with fewer business class passengers interested in physically shaking hands when Zoom is right there in the living room. And doctors will be all too happy to diagnose your kid over facetime.
This leads us to a reaffirmation of our interest in ISW Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:ISWH), a highly diversified company with a wide thematic footprint that includes data technology, home healthcare, wellness, spirits, supply chain management, cryptocurrency mining equipment, and most recently, telehealth technology.
The Telehealth Solution
As researchers have been telling us for the past few years, the healthcare system is on the verge of a realignment. People need healthcare, and many can’t afford it. At the same time, new technologies and systems of management are coming into the picture suddenly enabling ways of caring for people that make traditional in-patient hospital care unnecessary, superfluous, or outmoded today.
That has opened the door for new paradigms of care.
Quite apropos of this evolutionary change, ISW Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:ISWH) owns Paradigm Home Health, a company emerging as a leading force for home healthcare in the Texas marketplace. Texas is the second most populace state (after California), and is now one of the centerpiece stories in the coronavirus crisis.
Paradigm Home Health (“PHH”) is working to help more people gain access to important healthcare supports. However, for ISWH shareholders, there is one recent shift in this picture that could make a powerful difference: the company just integrated a new telehealth technology solution into the PHH system.
The Paradigm Solution
According to the company, the technology has direct application: “Our TeleCare service is one of the initiatives we are most excited about right now. This is a new technology solution we are preparing to launch as part of our Home Healthcare service. TeleCare is a revolutionary technology solution designed to provide home health patients with a simple, one-button wearable device to quickly and easily summon a visiting nurse, home health provider, or 24/7 nurse assist hotline anytime medical assistance is urgently needed. It works just like the nurse call button at the hospital. Our research suggests this will create tremendous additional value and enhance our clients’ lives by helping them to maintain the greatest possible level of independent existence while still having access to the supportive care they need. The introduction of this technology solution also comes in the wake of recent steps taken at the Federal level to deregulate telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis. Our sense is that this new strong momentum towards telehealth solutions is going to be sticky. In other words, the pandemic spurred a transition, and it’s going to be impossible to put the genie back in the bottle afterwards. Companies that fail to embrace the future risk being left behind.”
That quote comes from the company’s most recent press release – a letter to shareholders that lays out the strategic path ahead. Telehealth is clearly a material piece of the puzzle.
According to the experts, estimates show that healthcare spending in the United States will rise to $11,172 per capita, a growth of 66% over the course of the last decade alone. However, and despite its growing importance, expenditure on home healthcare makes up less than 5% of that amount. That’s an enormous patch of ground to make up, which suggests extremely strong growth ahead in the space.
ISWH has developed a pilot solution for its on-demand healthcare division to effectively bridge the gap between healthcare providers and patients – patients will be able to find outpatient clinical services in their vicinity, compare the cost, and pick the one best suited to their budget and location. PHH is also developing tools and technology to facilitate the provision of healthcare services outside of specialized facilities.