Telehealth was already a growing space even before the pandemic, but COVID had launched it into the mainstream.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, data from Research and Markets showed that 76% of hospitals in the US were using telehealth technologies to connect doctors to patients.

In Australia, ePrescriptions and new MBS (Medicare Benefit Schedule) items were quickly added by the government to support remote care when hospitals were shut down temporarily.

As remote digital care became more prevalent however, medical practitioners lament the growing problems caused by fragmented patient records, along with the mounting tech expenses required to stay competitive.

What’s the future of telehealth?

As we emerge out of the pandemic, could telehealth still become a permanent feature of primary healthcare?

A recent survey by McKinsey shows that while patients love telehealth, physicians are not so sure.

Even as the number of telehealth players keeps increasing, the survey revealed that doctors and patients have starkly different opinions about telehealth and the broader digital engagement.

Take convenience: while two-thirds of physicians and patients said they agreed that virtual health is more convenient than in-person care for patients, only 36% of physicians find it more convenient for themselves.

Source: McKinsey

Most physicians said they preferred and expected to return to the pre-Covid in-person delivery model over the next year, while a third expect telehealth to account for one-third less of their visits a year from now.

Best and worst performing ASX health stocks

To the ASX, here are the worst and best performing stocks this week.

Code Company Price %Week %Month %Year Market cap
IHL Incannex Healthcare 0.735 31.3% 61.5% 241.9% $809,713,762
CGS Cogstate Ltd 2.07 26.2% 15.0% 106.0% $357,070,096
CDX Cardiex Limited 0.5 25.0% 8.7% -39.0% $56,626,156
PTX Prescient Ltd 0.1875 25.0% -10.7% 89.4% $120,267,243
AHK Ark Mines Limited 0.255 24.4% 27.5% 650.0% $8,494,076
VLS Vita Life Sciences.. 2.44 19.9% 29.1% 156.8% $128,998,899
RHY Rhythm Biosciences 1.255 19.5% -11.0% -23.0% $251,541,954
MVP Medical Developments 4.36 19.5% -5.6% -19.9% $243,064,994
BIT Biotron Limited 0.074 17.5% 7.2% 5.7% $44,923,694
PAB Patrys Limited 0.027 17.4% -6.9% 4.3% $55,532,243
NEU Neuren Pharmaceuticals 4.11 14.2% 4.3% 205.6% $512,680,301
ADR Adherium Ltd 0.011 10.0% -15.4% -45.0% $26,499,013
PSQ Pacific Smiles Grp 2.49 9.2% -4.6% -7.8% $397,359,026
IMM Immutep Ltd 0.365 9.0% -9.9% 0.0% $298,942,980
IBX Imagion Biosys Ltd 0.061 8.9% -10.3% -66.1% $67,273,112
IRX Inhalerx Limited 0.087 8.8% 3.6% -33.1% $13,477,357
AHC Austco Healthcare 0.135 8.0% 3.8% 42.1% $36,944,564
AVE Avecho Biotech Ltd 0.014 7.7% 7.7% -36.4% $25,729,375
CTE Cryosite Limited 0.45 7.1% 4.7% 125.0% $21,964,303
PNV Polynovo Limited 1.155 6.9% -14.4% -53.8% $727,856,848
JTL Jayex Technology Ltd 0.016 6.7% -20.0% -66.7% $3,987,657
PAA Pharmaust Limited 0.1 6.4% 1.0% 0.0% $31,374,326
TRP Tissue Repair 0.425 6.3% -7.6% 0.0% $18,279,214
BNO Bionomics Limited 0.071 6.0% -22.8% -80.3% $97,441,254
CAJ Capitol Health 0.37 5.7% -1.3% 7.2% $380,409,392
M7T Mach7 Tech Limited 0.75 5.6% -2.6% -48.3% $181,150,596
ATH Alterity Therap Ltd 0.02 5.3% -4.8% -44.4% $45,730,617
NC6 Nanollose Limited 0.105 5.0% -8.7% 0.0% $15,633,069
MVF Monash IVF Group Ltd 1.12 4.7% 10.9% 43.6% $436,391,021
ILA Island Pharma 0.25 4.2% 0.0% 0.0% $10,811,582
ICR Intelicare Holdings 0.075 4.2% -13.8% -69.1% $6,478,520
BOT Botanix Pharma Ltd 0.059 3.5% 1.7% -43.8% $56,442,240
ACW Actinogen Medical 0.097 3.2% -25.4% 340.9% $174,326,966
PGC Paragon Care Limited 0.38 2.7% 5.6% 40.7% $243,463,647
ADO Anteotech Ltd 0.195 2.6% -13.3% -11.4% $367,317,455
HGV Hygrovest Limited 0.051 2.0% 10.9% -59.2% $11,727,653
UBI Universal Biosensors 0.925 1.6% 7.6% 120.2% $161,969,539
CYP Cynata Therapeutics 0.415 1.2% -12.6% -35.2% $59,459,787
CYC Cyclopharm Limited 1.53 0.7% -13.3% -41.4% $140,062,235
ALT Analytica Limited 0.002 0.0% 0.0% -33.3% $9,227,602
OCC Orthocell Limited 0.405 0.0% -9.0% -22.9% $82,793,723
AMT Allegra Orthopaedics 0.165 0.0% 10.0% -55.4% $17,235,768
SCU Stemcell United Ltd 0.014 0.0% 0.0% -51.7% $14,696,981
MEB Medibio Limited 0.004 0.0% 0.0% -60.0% $9,004,401
ICS ICSGlobal Limited 0.575313 0.0% 0.0% 10.6% $6,054,605
FFC Farmaforce Ltd 0.035 0.0% -35.2% -64.6% $4,573,834
MEM Memphasys Ltd 0.067 0.0% -8.2% -31.6% $53,868,127
ALC Alcidion Group Ltd 0.205 0.0% -19.6% -14.7% $266,294,501
SDI SDI Limited 0.84 0.0% -9.2% 6.3% $99,847,045
BPH BPH Energy Ltd 0.037 0.0% 0.0% -78.2% $24,602,017
NSB Neuroscientific 0.285 0.0% -5.0% 23.9% $40,889,418
VBS Vectus Biosystems 1.375 0.0% -1.4% 10.0% $48,119,731
PAL Palla Pharma Ltd 0.295 0.0% 0.0% -54.7% $47,764,383
1AD Adalta Limited 0.075 0.0% -9.6% -54.1% $23,563,856
LCT Living Cell Tech. 0.005 0.0% 0.0% -69.2% $5,141,819
GSS Genetic Signatures 1.19 -0.8% -13.8% -29.2% $170,321,720
IMU Imugene Limited 0.2525 -1.0% -23.5% 152.5% $1,549,393,834
PCK Painchek Ltd 0.04 -1.2% -16.7% -47.4% $45,272,192
TLX Telix Pharmaceutical 5.05 -1.6% -28.7% 27.5% $1,596,881,005
OPT Opthea Limited 1.005 -2.0% -12.6% -36.4% $371,295,940
RCE Recce Pharmaceutical 0.98 -2.0% -20.3% -4.4% $170,557,090
AN1 Anagenics Limited 0.047 -2.1% -7.8% -44.5% $10,830,044
RAC Race Oncology Ltd 2.74 -2.1% -10.2% -28.3% $444,850,942
SOM SomnoMed Limited 1.81 -2.2% -14.2% -3.5% $149,794,360
EXL Elixinol Wellness 0.044 -2.2% -37.1% -78.5% $13,268,269
PIQ Proteomics Int Lab 1.21 -2.4% 12.0% -8.7% $130,018,226
OSL Oncosil Medical 0.039 -2.5% 2.6% -61.0% $30,901,388
KZA Kazia Therapeutics 0.955 -2.6% -0.5% -25.4% $126,095,535
HXL Hexima 0.38 -2.6% 0.0% 153.3% $60,700,725
NYR Nyrada Inc. 0.19 -2.6% -11.6% -40.6% $29,641,653
CMP Compumedics Limited 0.36 -2.7% -2.7% -15.3% $60,235,402
OSP Osprey Med Inc 0.35 -2.8% -23.1% -80.6% $8,980,490
RAP Resapp Health Ltd 0.067 -2.9% -9.5% 17.5% $58,425,401
IIQ Inoviq Ltd 0.935 -3.1% -11.8% -68.3% $84,657,206
PXS Pharmaxis Ltd 0.089 -3.3% -11.0% 8.5% $51,049,854
ATX Amplia Therapeutics 0.145 -3.3% -14.7% -44.7% $29,078,100
ANP Antisense Therapeut. 0.145 -3.3% -17.1% -19.4% $100,319,097
EZZ EZZ Life Science 0.41 -3.5% -8.9% 0.0% $5,231,600
PBP Probiotec Limited 2.15 -3.6% -6.1% -3.6% $181,351,195
OIL Optiscan Imaging 0.13 -3.7% -13.3% -46.9% $77,398,200
MXC Mgc Pharmaceuticals 0.024 -4.0% -22.6% -70.7% $67,960,807
VTI Vision Tech Inc 0.68 -4.2% -20.0% -62.2% $15,835,785
BDX Bcaldiagnostics 0.11 -4.3% -4.3% 0.0% $14,472,927
RAD Radiopharm 0.31 -4.6% -11.4% 0.0% $37,949,812
RAD Radiopharm 0.31 -4.6% -11.4% 0.0% $37,949,812
PYC PYC Therapeutics 0.1 -4.8% -23.1% -31.0% $308,549,832
IMC Immuron Limited 0.1 -4.8% -25.9% -52.4% $23,918,826
DVL Dorsavi Ltd 0.02 -4.8% 5.3% -41.2% $7,077,626
ALA Arovella Therapeutic 0.04 -4.8% -4.8% -9.1% $24,947,771
IDT IDT Australia Ltd 0.19 -5.0% -32.1% 0.0% $47,884,033
ARX Aroa Biosurgery 0.755 -5.0% -10.1% -37.6% $260,145,061
PAR Paradigm Bio. 1.19 -5.2% -20.7% -49.1% $286,770,702
BXN Bioxyne Ltd 0.017 -5.6% -15.0% 41.7% $10,882,472
NOX Noxopharm Limited 0.335 -5.6% -25.6% -54.4% $94,977,334
CAN Cann Group Ltd 0.25 -5.7% -10.7% -58.3% $85,535,264
GLH Global Health Ltd 0.33 -5.7% -16.5% -17.5% $16,994,818
IVX Invion Ltd 0.016 -5.9% -15.8% 77.8% $109,080,732
ONE Oneview Healthcare 0.235 -6.0% -4.1% 173.3% $129,211,439
MDC Medlab Clinical Ltd 0.1175 -6.0% -13.0% -64.4% $41,061,081
VHT Volpara Health Tech 0.705 -6.0% -26.6% -48.5% $182,652,934
NTI Neurotech Intl 0.045 -6.3% -6.3% -36.6% $31,396,461
RGS Regeneus Ltd 0.066 -7.0% -18.5% -40.0% $20,224,836
CU6 Clarity Pharma 0.65 -7.1% -11.0% 0.0% $116,956,319
EYE Nova EYE Medical Ltd 0.24 -7.7% -18.6% -29.4% $36,024,563
IPD Impedimed Limited 0.16 -8.6% -15.8% 28.0% $293,204,276
RSH Respiri Limited 0.042 -8.7% -17.6% -67.7% $31,082,154
LBT LBT Innovations 0.082 -8.9% -11.8% -21.9% $27,031,680
TSN The Sust Nutri Grp 0.15 -9.1% -6.3% -61.5% $17,487,926
TD1 Tali Digital Limited 0.019 -9.5% 11.8% -59.6% $17,706,210
SHG Singular Health 0.19 -9.5% -28.3% -71.2% $13,057,814
NXS Next Science Limited 0.93 -9.7% -27.3% -24.4% $178,278,699
MDR Medadvisor Limited 0.315 -10.0% -16.0% -14.9% $120,936,517
CBL Control Bionics 0.36 -10.0% -16.3% -47.8% $18,119,126
RHT Resonance Health 0.13 -10.3% -16.1% -31.6% $59,910,758
ACR Acrux Limited 0.094 -10.5% -2.1% -44.7% $28,425,546
AGH Althea Group 0.17 -10.5% -20.9% -68.5% $53,510,485
MX1 Micro-X Limited 0.17 -10.5% -27.7% -57.5% $73,651,087
DXB Dimerix Ltd 0.19 -11.6% -26.9% -24.0% $57,757,260
AT1 Atomo Diagnostics 0.1225 -12.5% -45.6% -46.7% $53,129,744
EPN Epsilon Healthcare 0.053 -13.1% -19.7% -76.4% $11,803,468
HCT Holista CollTech Ltd 0.033 -13.2% -28.3% -52.9% $9,086,520
TRU Truscreen 0.063 -13.7% -10.0% -24.1% $22,860,574
AC8 Auscann Grp Hlgs Ltd 0.067 -14.1% -5.6% -55.3% $30,838,298
4DX 4Dmedical Limited 0.695 -14.2% -32.2% -59.8% $140,000,361
OVN Oventus Medical Ltd 0.048 -14.3% -36.0% -76.0% $11,602,874
GTG Genetic Technologies 0.005 -16.7% 11.1% -54.5% $46,169,826
S66 Star Combo 0.205 -18.0% -30.5% -29.3% $27,573,111
ZLD Zelira Therapeutics 0.021 -19.2% -27.6% -70.4% $36,852,243
OSX Osteopore Limited 0.165 -19.5% -29.8% -62.5% $23,453,648
CHM Chimeric Therapeutic 0.155 -19.6% -30.1% -48.1% $42,194,657
ZNO Zoono Group Ltd 0.225 -21.1% -21.1% -69.4% $34,946,458
DOC Doctor Care Anywhere 0.295 -22.4% -41.6% -76.5% $58,963,995
RNO Rhinomed Ltd 0.185 -22.9% -32.7% 60.9% $51,961,826
CPH Creso Pharma Ltd 0.059 -23.4% -29.8% -71.9% $74,922,703
1ST 1St Group Ltd 0.009 -25.0% -34.0% -68.3% $4,987,384
BWX BWX Limited 2.38 -31.6% -29.8% -45.9% $390,568,403
LDX Lumos Diagnostics 0.43 -32.8% -54.0% 0.0% $69,357,410
ONT 1300 Smiles Limited 0 -100.0% -100.0% -100.0% $168,827,115

Pain relief specialist Medical Development International (ASX:MVP) surged 30% on Wednesday after announcing that the US FDA has unconditionally lifted the agency’s clinical hold on its lead product, Penthrox.

Commonly known as the “green whistle”, Penthrox is an analgesic used by paramedics and ambulances to administer emergency pain relief.

The latest FDA move means that MVP can immediately begin preparing for its Phase III US clinical trial, a critical step towards bringing Penthrox closer to licensure in the US market.

As anticipated, the two-year trial will be conducted on a targeted trauma and associated pain patient group, with recruitment expected to commence in late 2022.

CEO Brent MacGregor said: “We are thrilled with this news which allows us to move forward quickly with preparations for our clinical trial.”

“After years of hard work, our team is buoyed by the prospect of bringing the many benefits of Penthrox to the US market. This will strongly complement our growing Penthrox success in Europe, and fully supports our further investment in the product.”

Another stock leading the pack during the month was clinical-stage medical cannabis and psilocybin treatment company Incannex Healthcare (ASX:IHL), which continues to attract investor attention.

The stock closed above 60c on February 28 to bring its annual gains north of 200%, after it announced that American Depositary Shares representing ordinary IHL stock have begun trading on the US Nasdaq index.

“By achieving a dual listing on Nasdaq, the company is now more accessible to a wider audience of investors with sophisticated understandings of medicinal cannabinoids, psychedelic therapies, and pharmaceutical development,” IHL said.

Australian clinical stage cell technology company Cynata Therapeutics (ASX:CYP) has received a notice of Decision to Grant from the patent office of China for its proprietary Cymerus mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) technology.

The patent, fully owned by Cynata, will extend the already strong IP protection of the Cymerus manufacturing platform, which already has patents in crucial markets including Japan, Europe and the US.

CEO Dr Ross Macdonald says China is an enormously important market given its growing economy and its government’s focus on the adoption of sophisticated and innovative medicines.

Highlights from first half earnings results

MedAdvisor (ASX:MDR)

Revenue of $38.7m, up 199% on pcp.
NPAT loss of $7.7m.

Despite the loss, the company signed key deals during the half which could build into future revenues.

It signed a five-year deal with Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (Priceline), as well as a deal with US giant Walmart.

In the Walmart deal, MedAdvisor will provide a full suite of its adherence solutions (including digital, in-pharmacy print and direct mail) to Walmart customers.

Mesoblast (ASX:MSB)

Revenue $5.977m vs $3.546m in the pcp.
Loss before income tax -$48.7m vs loss of $50.89m in the pcp.

Mesoblast has recorded a loss as it conducted ongoing activities to commercialise a range of drugs to the market, which includes a drug to treat GVHD (graft versus host disease).

GVHD is a severe inflammation in the bloodstream caused by complications of bone marrow transplants.

Mesoblast has a strong and extensive global intellectual property portfolio with patent protection extending through to at least 2041 in major markets.

Cogstate (ASX:CGS)

Record revenue of $23.1m, up 67% on pcp.
NPAT of $6.1m, up from loss of $0.4m in the pcp.

CGS says clinical trials sales contracts executed during the half reflect the continued increase in investment in Alzheimer’s disease research by large pharmaceutical companies.

The company has forecast FY22 revenue to come in the range of $44-$47m, with operating expenses to remain in the range of 31%-33% of revenue.

This will take its FY22 EBIT margins to a range of 20%-24%, up from previous guidance of 15%-18%.