Healthcare Marketplace for Better Home CareBy Miriam Bello | Wed, 08/26/2020 - 09:14
Q: How was Alivean able to digitalize the different areas of healthcare to become a comprehensive digital platform?
A: Alivean is a medicine marketplace inspired by the experience of the tourism industry, using platforms such as Expedia or Despegar.com as an example. In Mexico, people with medical conditions spend much of their time searching for the best places to buy their medications. Having said that, we saw in technology an opportunity to solve this problem and that is how we created this ecosystem of health services. In our marketplace, people can find promotions related not only to the pharmacological offer but also to health services.
This means that if people need laboratory tests, they can find the best offers on our platform. Through their purchases, we can predict the needs users will have. With the COVID-19 pandemic and mobility restrictions, people looked to alternatives like Alivean to get their medications to avoid exposing themselves to the virus. During the first months of confinement, a record number of users joined the platform. Four telemedicine companies have also joined the platform.
Q: The company offers solutions to customers like laboratories, pharmacies and insurers. What opportunities and challenges exist on both sides?
A: There are hours when laboratories are saturated and hours when there are almost no clients. To take advantage of and optimize the hours of low client flow, laboratories can offer these hours to platform patients. What matters most to us is that the value offer is focused on the patient. However, the great challenge we have had with laboratories is that not all of them are digitalized and it is difficult to check the availability to schedule an appointment in their system.
Another great challenge for the company has been finding pharmacies to partner with. Until now, our strategy has been focused on pharmacy chains; initially we have integrated Farmalisto, Grupo RFP and Farmapronto. We have been trying to partner with more pharmacies for more than a year, but the process has slowed down because their digital systems are not ready to integrate with external platforms. Fortunately, with the health crisis, companies have realized they cannot delay their digital transformation any longer and they already have budgets assigned to enable these systems.
We are developing customer centricity based on purchase points that clients can use whenever they want. We want Alivean to be the platform that is at the center of digital health services in Mexico.
Q: How do you approach patients to use the app?
A: We have two strategies that we launched when the pandemic started. The first is focused on advertising in clinics and private hospital offices in Mexico City, which is currently on standby. As a drug marketplace, we wanted to be present at the time the prescription was issued. For this reason, we decided to define a strategy at the clinics to approach people who already have a prescription and can start using the app when leaving their consultation. Now, telehealth services already have prescription solutions and drug catalogs, we are working on integrating these companies. We hope that the digital medical prescription will be regularized in Mexico soon.
The second is a strategy based on social networks.
Q: Which alliances are key for Alivean’s growth and to improve its position in the market?
A: One of our key alliances has been with telehealth companies, from which we estimate we have received 150,000 prescriptions per month. Our next plans include approaching patient associations under different conditions. On many occasions, patients cannot find the medications they need and consequently are willing to pay more to get them. With Alivean, they can be sure that they will have their medicine every month because joining the platform provides pharmacies with better control over their inventory and they can even offer more attractive prices.
Alivean is a Mexican company focused on the development of innovative digital solutions for the health services industry. They are the first digital platform for the integration of health services in Mexico. Alivean links the prescription by presenting the patient with the best offers of services.