• Personalized medicine, like targeted therapies, can provide opportunities to better treat disease
  • MCI Onehealth Technologies Inc. continues to develop and implement an ecosystem of digital applications that are focused on modernizing and personalizing the primary care experience
  • The company operates one of the largest primary care networks in Canada — with nearly one million patient visits annually
  • MCI Onehealth Technologies Inc. trades on the TSX under stock ticker $DRDR

In 2021, people are all about convenience. We demand to work remotely so we can avoid long commutes. We increasingly shop online, and we want the experience to be easy and seamless. We aim to handle everything from parent-teacher meetings to doctors’ appointments virtually unless there’s a good reason for them to be in-person.

We want all these experiences and the technologies needed to make them happen to operate smoothly, customized to our individual wants and needs.

And when it comes to our medical care, as we found out during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s more to managing our health than renewing a prescription or chatting with our GP on the phone.

Online health care — which includes data-driven diagnostics, personalized care, speedy specialist referrals and precision medical technology — is rapidly evolving and that evolution sits at the core of MCI Onehealth Technologies Inc. (TSX: DRDR).

A health care technology company whose January 2021 IPO generated $30 million, MCI Onehealth is focused on primary care, although that goes far beyond its 25 technology-enabled clinics in Toronto and Calgary that operate as MCI The Doctor’s Office. It includes its recent acquisition of an 80 per cent interest in several health care companies through its subsidiary MCI Polyclinic Group Inc.

The company’s CEO, Dr. Alexander Dobranowski, breaks down MCI’s focus:

  • Improving and modernizing in-person and virtual primary care doctor experiences
  • Improving access to additional and specialized health services, both in-person and virtually
  • Developing data-driven and precision medicine technologies, aided by artificial intelligence, to speed up diagnostic times, better identify patients with rare and complex diseases and optimize patient outcomes
  • Focusing on personalized patient profiles and how those can be used to provide superior medical care

Building and growing through acquisitions

“Across all four areas of focus, we’re growing both organically and through acquisitions,” says Dr. Dobranowski. “We’re built off this foundation of our previous primary care network and now we have a technology focus moving forward.”

The company, which generated $46.3 million in revenue in 2019, also offered telehealth and virtual health services to its base of patients, and had its doctors complete more than 200,000 such consultations between March and October 2020 alone — but it has plans to go beyond that.

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MCI Onehealth operates one of the largest primary care networks in Canada. 

With its MCI Polyclinic strategic acquisitions in August, the company is aimed at providing onsite integrated health services. It will be the core of a growing MCI ecosystem of health services that already includes a leading-edge virtual care platform (MCI Connect); primary and urgent care clinics in Ontario and Alberta; specialist services; a highly successful corporate health solutions division; and a growing web of wholly owned and affiliated personalized medicine and diagnostics services backed by cutting-edge technologies and artificial intelligence.

The MCI Polyclinic acquisitions include: Canadian Phase Onward, a clinical research organization with expertise in clinical studies, trial recruitment and management; The Quit Clinic (operating as Polyclinic Family and Specialty Medicine Facility), which offers primary care, specialist and diagnostic clinics, and has annual patient volumes over more than 100,000 visits per year; and Executive Medical Concierge Canada, an executive health care practice with a growing client list that MCI anticipates will serve its existing client base and more than 500 corporate clients.

“MCI Polyclinic is the centralized physical example of the personalized health care model we have strategically built across the MCI ecosystem both digitally and physically,” says Dr. Dobranowski.

“We expect that it will serve as our flagship for the type of care that patients want and deserve — the highest quality, the most convenient and efficient, with the greatest access to services, ongoing attention to their individual diagnoses and treatments, and more-readily available access to in-house, advanced clinical treatment and research opportunities.”

In addition, complementary deals include the April 2021 purchase of Khure Health Inc., which boasts a broad suite of rare disease screening tools; and a partnership, finalized the same month, with ReGen Scientific, a leader in personalized, preventative and regenerative health, that also saw its co-founder, Dr. Robert Francis, join MCI Onhealth’s board of advisors. Also in April, the company invested in Acorn Biolabs Inc., a Toronto-based biotechnology company working in regenerative and precision medicine.

“There’s a lot of exciting things that can be done due to the acceleration of technology. But, at the centre of it is the patient. And if you do things right, you can significantly improve patient outcomes.” – Dr. Alexander Dobranowski, CEO, MCI Onehealth Technologies Inc.

The common goal of all the acquisitions is for MCI Onehealth to serve the entire patient journey while capturing referrals, via an internal system, that its primary care physicians would otherwise send out.

Pandemic accelerates tech adoption

“We believe we are now in a position, with many of the required building blocks for our ecosystem, to make significant strides in helping the health care industry at large transition from a traditional care service-delivery model to one that is more personalized, holistic and most importantly, data- and technology-driven,” says Dr. Dobranowski.

“The pandemic has obviously triggered an acceleration in technology adoption,” he adds. “What this has enabled is not just to create a virtual-care platform but an entire patient-experience platform. And that’s what we’ve been developing with MCI Connect.”

Data is one crucial component of those endeavours, he says — not to sell to third parties, as is done by many tech companies, but to analyze and use to improve patient outcomes, overall and individually.

“There’s a lot of discussion about using technologies like predictive, artificial intelligence technologies or machine learning technologies in turning what was the traditional model of serving patients into one that’s more individualized and personalized,” he says.

“To accomplish all that, you need access to well-structured clinical data. And that’s what we have. We have a critical mass of information that we can use to help enable these things.”

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MCI’s comprehensive ecosystem of applications that brings the power of data to the doctor’s fingertips.

While those services are obviously available to MCI Onehealth’s core patient base, the company is also looking to expand beyond the Ontario and Alberta provincial borders in offering its software as a service to other primary care medical clinics. It is also working on privately insured high-margin services that aren’t part of basic health care coverage in Canada.

Additionally, it is building a roster of some 500 plus corporate clients for which MCI provides medical and occupational health services, from nurse staffing to specimen collection and from physiotherapy and rehabilitation programs to COVID-19 site checks.

Many of these offerings in Canada may be made available south of the border, in a patient market 10 times the size.

The patients have spoken

Scott Nirenberski, MCI Onehealth’s CFO, notes that the past 18 months have shown great potential for such medical services.

“COVID has forced the system to recognize that the customer has needs,” says the Ontario native who spent 25 years working in finance in the San Francisco Bay Area tech hub, including several years with Intel. “And the customer is now coming back to the system and saying, ‘this is how I want my health care delivered.’”

“The ecosystem is aligned in support of a bullish outlook on telehealth. Politicians are looking for broader and improved access. Physicians and patients alike want convenience and safety, which is enabled by virtual care.” – Rob Goff, Head of Research, Technology, Special Situations, Echelon Wealth Partners..

Nirenberski says he sees a bright future for a company with low margins that is transforming itself rapidly and aggressively while pursuing its mission of improving health care for millions by adopting value-added services.

Doctors and patients want convenience and safety

Rob Goff, the head of Research, Technology, Special Situations, for Echelon Wealth Partners, is also bullish on MCI Onehealth. Goff explains that while MCI Onehealth’s clinics alone are very profitable, the company’s virtual capabilities give it the ability to expand beyond its current clusters.

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Improving the patient experience starts with virtual care and convenient digital health services.

“Across North America and Europe, because of the pandemic-induced introduction and adoption of widespread telehealth services, we’ve had a test pilot like we never would have had,” he says.

“The ecosystem is aligned in support of a bullish outlook on telehealth. Politicians are looking for broader and improved access. Physicians and patients alike want convenience and safety, which is enabled by virtual care.”

“The verdict is all constituencies support the platform,” Goff says, “and we believe it is here to stay as part of an integrated care capability.”

“There are a lot of exciting things that can be done due to the acceleration of technology,” says MCI’s Dr. Dobranowski, “but at the centre of it is the patient. And if you do things right, you can significantly improve patient outcomes.”

“If you can scale this technology, now you can touch the lives of potentially millions of people. And that’s an exciting opportunity.”

MCI Onehealth’s investment proposition

  • MCI Onehealth is one of the largest technology-enabled primary care clinic networks in Canada with 25 locations across Ontario and Alberta
  • Technology and clinic acquisition growth initiative led by one of the top performing healthcare roll up teams in Canada
  • Q2 2021 revenue of $11.2 million up 53 per cent over the same period last year, driven by the recovery of publicly insured health services and continued strong performance from corporate health customers
  • Demand from corporate customers continues to grow, with revenues from corporate customers up more than 80 per cent to $1.87 million over the same quarter last year (Q2) and nearly 500 corporate customers on board at the end of the second quarter

For more information on MCI Onehealth, visit its website here.

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