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Cleveland Clinic Partners With American Well to Launch Virtual Care Company: Brainstorm Health

October 21, 2019, 11:07 PM UTC

Happy Monday, readers. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

The renowned health system Cleveland Clinic has never been shy about its digital health ambitions, whether by using virtual reality to treat surgeons or touting the promise of artificial intelligence. Now, it’s taking those ambitions one step further through a partnership with telemedicine giant American Well.

The two organizations are teaming up on a pioneering new venture to provide virtual medical care—including, importantly, care for complicated health conditions which require a specialist, and not just primary medical services—to an array of patients. These will be administered through a new, joint firm called The Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic CEO Tom Mihaljevic underscores how this will be different from existing telehealth platforms and virtual care services.

“This new venture marks the first time that a major digital health technology platform has partnered with a globally recognized healthcare provider to deliver digital solutions for complex healthcare problems,” he said in a statement.

And here’s a fascinating nugget: This isn’t just a fancy new technological foray for the firms. Cleveland Clinic fully expects telemedicine visits to be a growing part of its business strategy. In fact, the group projects that “50% of outpatient visits will be virtual” within the next five years.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee, @the_sy_guy, sayak.mukherjee@fortune.com

DIGITAL HEALTH

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INDICATIONS

Drug giants reach last-minute settlement in a closely watched opioid case. The first federal opioid case was slated to begin this morning in Ohio. But it came to a rather climactic... non-start, as three major drug distributors (McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen) as well as pharma giant Teva Pharmaceuticals came to a $260 million settlement with two Ohio counties. This was just the first of some 2,600 opioid-related cases still slated around the country but was seen as a harbinger of what may come next. Strikingly, Walgreens, another company named in these specific suits, did not join in the settlement, asserting they are in a very different position from opioid distributors and manufacturers accused of unethical marketing and distribution practices. (Fortune)

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THE BIG PICTURE

The health care companies poised for massive growth. Speaking of the Fortune Future 50.... The latest iteration of the companies headed for significant growth, based on data gleaned from BCG, was released this morning. Beyond the aforementioned Vertex, firms such as robotic surgery specialist Intuitive Surgical, genomic sequencing giant Illumina, artificial heart valve specialist Edwards Lifesciences, and others made the cut. Read through the 2019 list to find out why. (Fortune)

REQUIRED READING

Spotify Saved the Music Industry. Now What? by Andrew Nusca

The Future 50 Sustainability All-Starsby Fortune Editors

Inside Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summitby Emma Hinchliffe

How Regulators Nearly Killed Off Libra—and Why They Might Yet Have Second Thought About the Digital Currencyby Geoffrey Smith

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