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Dr. Randall Duthler (left) and Zachariah Booker, co-founders of ADHD Online LLC. Dr. Randall Duthler (left) and Zachariah Booker, co-founders of ADHD Online LLC. COURTESY PHOTO

‘The sky’s the limit’ for online-based ADHD assessment, treatment company

BY Sunday, August 15, 2021 05:40pm

The $2 million in capital that ADHD Online LLC raised will support further growth nationally as telehealth overall plays a larger role in the health care industry.

ADHD Online — which has a national network of licensed care providers to assess, diagnose and treat children and adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) — was already growing prior to the pandemic. COVID-19 accelerated the company’s growth as telehealth overall, particularly for behavioral health, grew exponentially.

“We were on a very comfortable and profitable growth rate prior to COVID-19. Once that hit at the beginning of last year and we saw the shutdowns, we’ve really experienced this hockey-stick growth. With that, we’ve been reinvesting every penny back into the company to be able to bolster our support,” said ADHD Online CEO and co-founder Zachariah Booker. “We want to be able to offer more resources within every state. (The capital raise) gives us the horsepower to be able to just keep this hockey-stick growth that we’re experiencing.”

Booker, an entrepreneur who’s owned and sold small businesses, and Dr. Randall Duthler, a family physician in Hudsonville with Spectrum Health, co-founded ADHD Online in 2018. Duthler was frustrated by the four- to six-month wait time for school-aged children to see a psychologist for an ADHD assessment. The two friends brainstormed the concept for ADHD Online, which initially started “with the idea that we could solve an issue of a bottleneck” by offering an online assessment for ADHD for school-aged children, Booker said.

ADHD Online has since expanded to include assessments for anyone 6 years and older, and to include treatment through virtual visits with care providers.

Patients submit online assessments at their leisure. A doctorate-level psychologist reviews the assessment within three to five days before rendering a diagnosis. Other conditions are built into the assessment, including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Assessment results are provided to the patient, who can take it to their primary care provider for treatment, or schedule a virtual visit with a care provider through ADHD Online.

‘Real market need’

In forming the company, Booker and Duthler, the company’s president and chief medical officer, also saw ADHD Online as a “passion project” because they both have ADHD, Booker said. They also both have sons with ADHD.

“This is something that hit home for us,” Booker said. “We really wanted to help people like us.”

ADHD Online closed this past spring on an early-stage capital round that raised $2 million from seven investors through an equity offering, according to a filing with federal securities regulators. Investors include Grand Rapids-based Michigan Capital Network and Wakestream Ventures, Northville-based Invest Michigan, and Michigan Rise, which is administered by the Michigan State University Foundation, as well as individual investors.

Michigan Capital Network led the ADHD Online capital round. CEO Paul D’Amato previously told MiBiz that ADHD Online “solves a real market need,” especially for students who are unable to stay focused in class or attend school because of their condition.

A neurological disorder, ADHD as of 2016 affected about 6.1 million people in the U.S. between the ages of 2 and 17, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention.

Eying growth

ADHD Online’s platform has conducted “tens of thousands” of patient assessments since launching in 2018, Booker said. The company, which employs nearly 20 people and plans to move soon from Hudsonville to an office in Grandville, operates in all 50 states and works with a network of 150 physicians nationwide, he said. The company is looking to add more licensed physicians to its network.

“From my standpoint, I’d love to double that as soon as possible,” Booker said. “Our demand is through the roof.”

ADHD Online does not yet have participating agreements with health insurers. Assessments cost $149. An initial virtual visit for treatment costs $199, and $99 per follow-up visit with a psychologist that usually occurs every three months, Booker said.

“We don’t participate with insurance at this time. We do have the ability to scale into the effort, and we’re looking at that avenue,” he said.

‘The sky’s the limit’

The company’s rise follows the growing telehealth industry that took off during the pandemic. After a sharp rise in 2020, telehealth utilization rates have stabilized at 38 times pre-pandemic levels, according to a July report from McKinsey & Co. The trend has shifted an estimated $250 billion in U.S. health care spending to care delivered or enabled virtually. More than half of care providers today view telehealth more favorably than before COVID-19, and nearly two-thirds are more comfortable using the technology, according to the McKinsey & Co. report.

In an outlook this month, U.K.-based Juniper Research forecasted that telehealth visits globally will grow to 765 million by 2025, up from 421 million in 2021.

Amid high projected telehealth growth rates, Booker calls the market potential for ADHD Online “immense.”

“The sky’s the limit,” he said.

As telehealth rose, so did investments into the sector. New York City-based CB Insights reported that global investments in telehealth grew 169 percent in the second quarter of 2021 from the same period a year earlier — to $5 billion across 163 deals. The first quarter had 154 deals globally valued at $4.3 billion.

The segment for teletherapy, coaching and care management accounted for nearly 40 percent of all telehealth deals in the second quarter, according to the CB Insights report that noted the “nascent telehealth space is beginning to show signs of maturity.”

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