RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — RelyMD, a Cary-based digital health company providing telehealth, is merging with MYidealDOCTOR, a telemedicine company based in Georgia.

Together, the companies said they would build out their physician network with more coverage options and strengthen operational capacity to meet growing customer demands.

It will also create a strategic partnership with ApolloMD, one of the nation’s leading hospital services companies, RelyMD said in its release.

“The healthcare needs of communities and workplaces have changed; and this merger enables us to better partner with our customers to meet the evolving needs of today’s patients and consumers,” said David Levin, CEO of RelyMD, in a statement.

“Our health system and hospital partners have increasingly embraced telehealth, and as a trusted partner to those organizations, we are excited to bring more innovative services that enable them to better serve their communities,” added Yogin Patel, MD, President of ApolloMD.

The merger comes as telehealth is a becoming more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a survey by Sage Growth Partner (SGP) and Black Book Market Research, 25 percent of consumer respondents had used telehealth prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Fifty-nine percent reported they are more likely to use telehealth services now than previously, and 33 percent would even leave their current physician for a provider who offered telehealth access.

RelyMD was founded in 2015 by Wake Emergency Physicians, PA (WEPPA), an independent group of roughly 100 emergency room physicians who staff nine emergency departments in Wake, Johnston and Granville counties. They collectively saw over 300,000 patients in 2015. The group began discussing the ideas behind RelyMD in 2012 to solve what they saw as a gap in the healthcare system—a lack of affordable and efficient methods of receiving emergency care for non-acute needs.

It took three years for the WEPPA doctors to develop the platform’s protocol and technology, and ready it for launch in January 2015. WEPPA co-developed the RelyMD platform with TCS (now Comtech Telecommunications Corporation) a telecommunications firm based in Maryland.