Premier Health Group (CSE:PHGI) (OTCQB:PHGRF) closed their $5 million acquisition of Cloud Practice Inc., a medical software application company, last week. The entire team from Cloud Practice, including the company’s CEO Jordan Visco, will be joining the Premier Health team. Together, Premier and Cloud Practice will service over three million Canadian patients.
Premier Health announced their plans for expansion on Nov. 18, noting that acquisitions and partnerships would be key to ultimately launching a new chain of cannabis clinics in Canada. This week’s acquisition marks Premier’s first official entrance into the cannabis clinic space.
“There is a gap between the patient's need for medical marijuana, and the family doctor's comfort and knowledge to prescribe it,” Premier Health CEO Dr. Essam Hamza said in November’s announcement. “We are looking to fill that gap with various forms of clinics and services to help our patients and healthcare workers.”
Cloud Practice and online patient portals
Canadian cannabis clinics commonly combine online patient portals with access to doctors and other medical professionals. At Cloud Practice, the software ranged from medical billing to medical records as well as an online portal for patients. The new acquisition, however, will focus on Premier’s goal to “build a patient-centric technology platform” that integrates Cloud Practice’s experience with Premier’s existing electronic medical records systems.
In an announcement made this Thursday, Dr. Hamza clarified the goals of the acquisition. He explains that Cloud Practice is providing the platform that will expedite the patient-doctor interaction. Many tasks will now be completed remotely and automatically, and doctors will be able to utilize the new technology to assess a patient’s data and symptoms and access medical research in real time. The intention is to create a tool which doctors can use to prescribe medical cannabis confidently.
“We understand the frustration felt from both the patient and the doctor and are integrating what we think is a revolutionary process. This new tool will allow us to provide a much-needed service to the 287 clinics and almost 3 million patients in our ecosystem,” Dr. Hamza said on Thursday.
The Internet of Medical Things and what it means to cannabis
Doctors and patients have been using the convenience of the internet for decades, but the Internet of Medical Things is a relatively newer concept. Medical devices have been monitored remotely through online connections, but using patient portals and being able to access medical records online in real time is anticipated to make a real impact on medicine and in turn medical cannabis.
Two years ago, Allied Market Research reported that the IoMT market could reach over $135 billion by 2021. Today, now that medical cannabis is legalized in more states and more countries, there is no telling what that number could potentially be. And with the changes blockchain is bringing to medical technology, the potential for this market is simply climbing higher and higher.
Unfortunately, when it comes to IoMT, it is the healthcare providers that take on the brunt of technological problems. When programs do not work correctly, or information is inaccessible, doctors are the ones forced to face usability errors. Premier Health is stepping into this space with the intention of providing the healthcare sphere with a more user-friendly platform that not only makes the technology work better but also gives both the doctors and their patients a better understanding of medical cannabis.
As the landscape of the medical and cannabis industries continue to evolve, pot stocks like Premier Health Group with a focus on technology and medicine could be a powerful addition to an investment portfolio.