Telemedicine providers to stay post-pandemic

·3 min read

GLOBE’S 917Ventures is bent on growing health tech services in the country, given the rising demand for remote medical access because of convenience, affordability and safety.

Top officials are confident that telemedicine providers like KonsultaMD will continue to exist even after this global health crisis.

“Our situation has taken away the reluctance of many Filipinos to try telehealth services. People are looking for ways to stay safe from the virus while our hospitals are overwhelmed with patients. KonsultaMD has become a platform that connects Filipinos to much-needed medical consults for non-emergency cases,” said Cholo Tagaysay, chief executive officer of KonsultaMD, during a virtual media briefing on Wednesday,

Nov. 10, 2021.

Tagaysay is confident that even after the pandemic, the public’s behavior of consulting with a doctor via voice or video will remain if the current trend is an indication.

He noted that even when Covid-19 cases subsided early this year, teleconsults continued to grow as people realized the advantages of using the service and going digital.

“It is also like using your GCash. Do you think you’ll stop using it after this pandemic when you have already gotten used to it?” said Tagaysay, adding that the presence of telemedicine providers isn’t going to replace face-to-face consultations but it is going to be the first touch point of consumers in seeking medical attention.

A million members

Less than two years into the global health crisis, medical consultations through the KonsultaMD app already skyrocketed 1,549 percent versus pre-pandemic levels.

The service has reached over one million members who enjoy 24/7 unlimited access to licensed doctors via voice or video call for as low as P60 a month.

KonsultaMD members can consult with doctors specializing in different fields -- from general medicine, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, rehabilitation medicine, mental health support (counseling and psychotherapy), psychiatry, dermatology, ophthalmology, dentistry, ENT and surgery.

It also provides digital management of health consultation records and issuance of medical documents such as e-prescriptions, e-laboratory requests, e-referrals and e-medical certificates.

“We’ve had high hopes for KonsultaMD even before the pandemic. We saw it as a way to address the pain points in Philippine healthcare, which was suffering from a lack of healthcare professionals, inadequate health infrastructure, and limited accessibility, not to mention the high cost of medical consultation,” said Vince Yamat, 917Ventures managing director.

“People were wary of using the service before as they are used to traditional face-to-face consultations, but with the pandemic, things have changed. Telehealth has become an important innovation that will stay and evolve,” he added.

Tagaysay added that KonsultaMD’s business model is difficult to replicate since it needed scale for it to become a successful venture.

“With a P60 unlimited consultations for one month, it will not work with only 1,000 or 100,000 customers. It needed a million subscribers for it to play in your favor,” he said.

KonsultaMD has been tapping Globe’s strong network of subscribers to bring its services across all digital platforms. (KOC)

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