From inside our homes and across the country, medical needs continue. Headaches, coughs and fevers—and of course strain and worry about COVID-19.

It’s not surprising that virtual care has surged during this crisis. In fact, our own data shows a 250 percent increase in virtual care engagements versus its usual volume. And for behavioral health specifically, 65 percent of our individual and employer-sponsored member visits were via telehealth—before this spring, only about one percent were accessing telehealth for behavioral health needs.

We are committed to removing barriers to care and leveraging technology to support consumers through this unprecedented time. Anthem’s digital-first capabilities are proactively addressing issues with COVID-19 to simplify health care for consumers, allowing us to bring the power of human connection directly to an individual’s living room.

As part of our coordinated response, we are increasing virtual care access and coverage, and adapting our digital tools in order to deliver outreach and relief to those in need. For example:

  • At the beginning of the crisis, we quickly mobilized to develop a Coronavirus Assessment tool, which is available on Sydney Care, our digital care access platform, at no cost. The assessment uses risk evaluation tools based on guidelines established by the CDC to help individuals quickly and safely evaluate their symptoms and assess their risk of having COVID-19. Since Sydney Care launched, we’ve seen more than 200,000 downloads of the app.
  • Based on the results of Sydney Care’s assessment, consumers can connect directly to a board-certified doctor through LiveHealth Online (LHO), Anthem’s telehealth service, via text or secure two-way video. LHO offers a safe and helpful way for consumers to see a care provider to help manage all of their physical and emotional health needs without leaving home.

COVID-19 is a crisis facing the nation and we are in this together. We have quickly evolved our virtual care benefits to meet the new demand as consumers are staying home and practicing social distancing. This crisis has made clear that telehealth and virtual care will continue to be a key component of how and where care is delivered going forward. By combining technology with expertise and compassion, we can help redefine the future of care to improve lives and the health of our communities.