Udok to expand Clicks partnership after R10m funding

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Tele-healthcare provider Udok is preparing to expand its connected care services across SA, after raising R10 million in funding from local venture capital firm FinEx Capital.

Founded in 2018 to facilitate the delivery of online doctor consultations, Udok has been providing remote consultations directly to patients and via pharmacy clinics for the past year.

Its telehealth Web application provides a safe option to connect patients to healthcare specialists in real-time, minimising the risk of spreading the coronavirus (COVID-19), by eliminating the need for a face-to-face consultation.

The company has developed a digital ecosystem consisting of hardware and software to capture accurate medical information from patients, allowing medical practitioners to make diagnosis remotely in real-time using an electronic medical record system that is integrated with a video-conferencing service.

The Cape Town-based company, which has a partnership with Clicks Pharmacies, says the investment will be used to constantly expand its technology nationwide and customers will soon be able to access its services at almost 200 Clicks Pharmacies countrywide.

Udok founder and CEO Dr Petrus van Niekerk says the company is scaling its offerings, by building a smart patient queuing system powered by artificial intelligence technologies.

The application is built to manage significant patient workload and is used to manage a large online walk-in-clinic, allowing input from multiple providers, to ensure the best multi-disciplinary care for the patient.

“Our company is proud to be appointed by the Clicks Group, the largest pharmacy retailer in South Africa, to deliver online consultations to their pharmacy clinics.

“This is a fundamental move towards making healthcare more convenient to South Africans and the rest of Africa. Our mission is to make healthcare accessible to everyone on this continent through the use of a smart device which can be the patient's own or with the help of a nurse,” explains Dr Van Niekerk.

FinEx Capital is an integrated asset management business providing a full spectrum of investment solutions, including hedge funds, private equity investments and exchange traded funds.

Telemedicine, the delivery of healthcare and the transfer of health information across distances using information and communication technologies, has proved invaluable in the management of the deadly virus, with many governments and healthcare systems advocating digital healthcare tools and virtual consults as the primary means of healthcare support.

Udok says it has seen a significant increase in the number of users since the onset of COVID-19, with more doctors and patients continuously signing up on the platform.The company’s vision is to become the single largest connected care platform to breach the gap between patient, provider and payer.

Looking at the company’s future plans, Udok says it is looking into how it can offer lab testing at much lower prices than conventional laboratories. The company is testing laboratory analysers inside its retail partner’s stores.

GPs and patients can register online though the Udok Web site. All GPs are verified, and earn per consultation through the platform.

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