I read a lot of different things in a day. But I don’t read a lot about erectile dysfunction, until this week. I have been reading the bill as they have been introduced this week to scan for anything related to broadband. I have a growing list that I will share soon of items that have a loose connection. Doing that I ran into SF2184/HF2150, a bill to allow telemedicine evaluations to be used for erectile dysfunction medication prescribing. It seemed strange, but again not my wheelhouse.
It made more sense once I ran into an article in Fortune magazine on telehealth…
Telehealth firm Ro just launched what it’s dubbing a “digital health clinic for men” via its men’s health-focused arm Roman.
The company, which has its roots in the direct-to-consumer erectile dysfunction market, has recently expanded its ambitions beyond the men’s health space, including with telehealth services for smoking cessation and a vertical meant to advise women who are about to go through menopause.
But the new effort underscores how important the men’s health business is to Ro’s portfolio.
There’s a tie into medications…
I spoke with Ro’s CEO, Zachariah Reitano, a few weeks ago about a separate project the company was working on—a partnership with drug giant Pfizer meant to leapfrog the company’s rivals in the generic Viagra space.
Here’s how Reitano described the importance of that partnership: “I compare it to buying coffee. You can buy coffee at two different places. All the coffee contains caffeine. But so many things go into making that cup of coffee that go into the quality of that product and experience.”
The comparison is intriguing. And Ro’s efforts in this crowded market could be a signal for how other telehealth companies follow.
So I mention this as a new avenue for telehealth and maybe a civics lesson.