Australian digital health company 1st Group (ASX: 1ST) will partner with workplace health and wellbeing provider Benestar Group to develop an online booking system for mental health service practitioners nationwide.
The companies will work together to deliver the MyHealth1st digital online patient engagement platform for Australia’s network of approximately 57,000 psychologists and mental health professionals.
The network is almost twice the size of the country’s general practitioner network and reflects a growing emphasis on the care of mental health patients.
“This partnership affords us a unique opportunity to offer improved support to the mental health sector,” said 1st Group managing director and co-founder Klaus Bartosch.
“Early intervention is key to our focus – with 20% of Australians suffering from mental illness each year, it is high time that we did something to help make the process much easier for patients.”
How it works
An existing client of 1st Group, Benestar delivers mental health and well-being services to organisations and government agencies in Australia and New Zealand.
The company has an internal team of more than 350 psychologists and social workers and allocates thousands of patients a month to external psychologists across Australia.
Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Benestar will pay setup fees for an initial 2,600 psychologists to join the MyHealth1st platform before the end of July, giving it faster and easier access to its external network.
Psychologists who sign up to MyHealth1st will pay a booking fee per new patient appointment confirmed through the platform.
For an additional monthly subscription fee, each psychologist will be able to integrate MyHealth1st into their website and social media pages which could potentially work to improve booking efficiency, simplify patient engagement and generate potential added revenues.
Based only on the external psychologists who have already opted to receive new patients from Benestar via MyHealth1st, the agreement is expected to generate up to $1 million per year of additional estimated revenues for 1st Group.
Further revenues may stem from psychologists who subscribe to MyHealth1st for general use, as well as additional booking volumes and associated fees generated by traffic on the MyHealth1st portal.
Revenues are expected to commence in the last quarter of 2019.
Mr Bartosch said the MyHealth1st initiative will join the Medibank online booking pilot program announced last month in steering 1st Group towards its goal of achieving “near-term cash flow break-even”.
At mid-afternoon, shares in 1st Group were up 16.33% to $0.057.