Teledentisty startup Virtudent downsizes amid coronavirus crisis

Boston-based teledentistry startup Virtudent is the latest local company to reduce its workforce as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic trickle down to the startup economy.

The startup, whose longtime founder and former CEO left the company in January, laid off 70 employees across all departments. Some employees have been retained as contractors, and those laid off received a severance package.

“Due to the nationwide impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and in response to regulatory recommendations from public health authorities, we have been forced to temporarily suspend on-site operations in our various markets,” Virtudent co-founder and COO John Voith said in a statement. “Like other private dental practices, we are facing an unprecedented challenge to our care delivery model and the duration of this impact is unknown. We will be ready to return to business as usual when regulatory orders are lifted, with the highest quality and clinical safety controls that you have come to expect from Virtudent.”

Founded in 2014, Virtudent aims to make routine dental care mobile and convenient. It developed a portable dental office using telemedicine to bring the dentist experience to patients’ workplaces or other pop-up locales.

The startup was incubated in the Harvard Innovation Lab in 2014 and 2015. In 2015, it won a $50,000 MassChallenge Gold award.