Zoie Health opens online service for birth control meds
In addition to virtual and WhatsApp-based consultations for contraceptive medication, start-up Zoie Health is launching the telephone version of this service.
This is according to co-founder Dr Nonhlanhla Sitole, speaking about the healthcare start-up’s plans to make digital healthcare targeted at women more ubiquitous.
Co-founded by Sitole and her cousin Thato Schermer, Zoie Health is a digital women’s health and wellness clinic launched last August, to allow users to get healthcare advice from professionals. It provides virtual consultations with medical providers, group consultations and community forums.
Its services now also include the newly-launched MyContraceptive, an online contraceptive service available to women nationwide, says Sitole.
MyContraceptive aims to make every woman’s birth control journey easy, cost-effective and personalised to every patient’s needs, she notes. Adding online contraceptives as a service was always part of Zoie Health’s core goal.
Currently, consultations are carried out virtually. So, if a user has a laptop, smartphone and WhatsApp, they are able to speak to a doctor and order their contraceptives online.
For those women without internet, Zoie Health is in the process of making it possible for a user to speak to a healthcare provider and have their consult over the phone, which is something that medical aids accept, reveals the co-founder.
“MyContraceptive is a service that we launched at Zoie Health, with the purpose to have a virtual consultation with a healthcare provider who can guide you on your contraceptives, answer any questions you have and then help select the best one for you, depending on your needs and medical history.”
There are various service options available on MyContraceptive, such as consultation only, consultation and monthly delivery, and monthly delivery only.
Users can book a 15-minute virtual consult with one of Zoie Health’s healthcare practitioners, consult virtually, then receive their script via e-mail and subscribe for monthly delivery of their contraceptive, should they choose.
In addition, there is the monthly delivery of a user’s contraceptive to their chosen location and automatic prescription renewals with no long-term commitment − users can cancel at any time.
Sitole indicates Zoie Health has a pharmacy and delivery partnership network that helps the start-up fulfil deliveries to clients, plus it is always looking to see how to improve its services and make it cost-efficient.
“If you’re looking to do a once-off consult, which is 15-minute consult and will include your script, it’s priced at R250 for cash-paying patients. If you decide to do the monthly, it will depend on your specific contraceptive because there are different prices for different contraceptives.
“The pricing is based on which contraceptives your healthcare provider has selected for you. We also have a bundle offer that includes the consultation, script, the first batch of medication and delivery for R499.”
Zoie Health’s MyContraceptive service is available nationally, which Sitole says allows it to reach women all over the country.
“We feel this offers a unique platform that connects patients with healthcare providers and applies innovative technology which was not accessible in this country a few years ago. As the adoption and value of telemedicine grows, there is significant potential to further advance the digital distribution of care,” she concludes.