Telehealth is staying free!

Telehealth in Cliniko is staying free. We originally launched it as “free for now”, but we’re dropping the “for now”.

Joel Friedlaender·

An illustration of a video call UI, but shaped like a price tag. One of the people on the call is reaching out of the screen to cut the price tag off with a pari of scissors.

In March 2020, we scrambled to quickly add Telehealth to Cliniko. It was becoming apparent that lockdowns would be a thing, and we wanted to make sure Cliniko could help our customers through the changing times. We had looked into integrations that were available, but didn’t find an option that was secure, and offered the easy workflow that we wanted. So we built it from the ground up, and released the beta version in just 7 days from starting.

It was a mad rush, to say the least, and we spent zero time worrying about pricing for it. We were happy to launch it as “free for now” and worry about the cost later. We expected to need to pass on a cost, as there is a cost for us to run it. I even posted saying “we will have to charge for usage at some point”.

One month later, I posted a follow up article titled “Telehealth is free for now. It’s not a trap!”. This was partly because people were questioning if it was a marketing ploy. That we would release it for free to get people using Cliniko, then turn on the pricing later once they were committed to our software. It was also partly because I wanted to use this meme, which sadly never even made it into the article.

Admiral Ackbar saying 'it's a trap'

Or even my preferred version.


But I digress. It turns out, we’re able to absorb the cost of providing telehealth. There’s no need for us to pass it on, so we aren’t going to. We've always liked the idea of your Cliniko subscription covering all the features we develop, not charging more to unlock new additions.

So it’s now a year and a half later, why are we taking so long to announce this? Well, mostly we’ve known for a while that we won’t need to pass on the cost, but didn’t find it a high priority to announce. Hopefully our customers that have been with us for a while have come to trust us, and weren’t worried about it. There are still many however, that haven’t, and many that assume we’re here to profit as much as we can from our customers. So we’re making it official. Telehealth is free, not just free for now.

Author information

Joel Friedlaender is the founder of Cliniko. He writes about productivity, team-work, and how we do things differently. Follow him on Twitter at @jfriedlaender.

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