Telemedicine likely to stay even after pandemic contained: KonsultaMD

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2021 03:25 PM | Updated as of Jun 16 2021 09:26 PM


MANILA - The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the growth of telemedicine to new heights and has changed the way Filipinos interact with medical experts, KonsultaMD CEO Cholo Tagaysay said Wednesday.

Telemedicine "exploded" during the pandemic after Filipinos sought ways to connect to their doctors without leaving their homes, Tagaysay said during a virtual briefing of Globe's corporate venture builder 917Ventures.

The app has been posting "all-time record highs every month" with consultations skyrocketing 460 percent in 2020, he said.

Tagaysay said teleconsults usually surge when COVID-19 cases rise, but transactions remain elevated even when cases subside.

"Adoption for telemedicine during a pandemic has absolutely exploded. Adaption of telemedicine has absolutely gone through the roof," Tagaysay said.

Due to the demand, the platform is hiring doctors every day to "try to keep up with the demand, he added.

But what's more interesting is that Filipinos have grown accustomed to teleconsulting, even using it for other conditions that were not given importance before.

"Once you’ve tried the service once you realized how convenient, fast, affordable [it is], you start consulting for everything else, like cases which normally probably would not rise to hospital-level but because teleconsult is so easy, you start consulting everything else. We believe this behavior will stay after the pandemic

The platform offers packages for unlimited consultation with doctors and other health professionals for a low as P60 per month.

The individual annual package is at P499 while group packages range from P799 to P999.

Because of its unprecedented growth, Tagaysay said there are a lot of developments coming for KonsultaMD in the coming months. It will be available in convenience stores, gas stations, malls and pawnshops or bundled with brands.

KonsultaMD is part of Globe's 917Ventures that supports startups. PureGo, GCash, AdSpark, Rush and HealthNow are also part of 917Venture's portfolio.

Globe Telecom president and CEO Ernest Cu said 917Ventures has 3 more ventures, one is focused on live selling, another is an online lifestyle community and an online bootcamp in web development, which promise to provide solutions or cater to the demands of Filipinos.

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