Teladoc Health said Wednesday it is buying Livongo Health in an $18.5 billion mega-deal that underscores the growth potential of telemedicine as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates the use of virtual health platforms.

Both Teladoc, a provider of virtual care services, and Livongo, a data-based health coaching platform for diabetes patients, have seen their stock prices soar since the pandemic began, with Livongo, which started the year at around $25 per share, up to $144.53 at Tuesday’s close.

The combined companies will have expected 2020 pro forma revenue of approximately $1.3 billion, representing year over year pro forma growth of 85%.

“Together, we will further transform the health care experience from preventive care to the most complex cases, bringing ‘whole person’ health to consumers and greater value to our clients and shareholders as a result,” Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic said in a news release.

Under the terms of the deal, Livongo shareholders will receive 0.592 shares of Teladoc plus $11.33 in cash per Livongo share.

“It’s an eye-popping figure for a company that was, at one point, trading below $16 per-share,” TechCrunch said. “But the new reality of healthcare delivery in the era of COVID-19 rapidly accelerated the adoption of digital and remote care services like those Livongo was selling to its customers.”

As Forbes reports, the use of online and on-demand virtual visits has soared this year as Covid-19 “triggered government orders for Americans to take shelter in their homes and prevented them from seeing medical care providers in person.”

While Teladoc charges subscription fees to employers and insurers so their employees and members can access doctors on its platform, Livongo charges employers and insurers to provide diabetes coaching and monitoring to their workers and members.

Livongo also has growing businesses in hypertension, weight management, and behavioral health.

“One of the really exciting synergies is to go after the 70 million people that Teladoc already has a relationship with, and have our collective doctors now say to people: ‘You’re having this issue? Here — we have a great solution for you,’” Glen Tullman, Livongo’s chairman, said on an analyst call.

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