Revolutionizing Telepharmacy for Chronic Patients
STORY INLINE POST
Q: What sets Choiz apart from other medical platforms and why should patients choose Choiz?
A: Health is a huge market, involving pharmaceuticals, telemedicine, laboratories, insurance and many others. Choiz positions itself in telepharmacy, which is the connection between medicine and pharmacy and is a niche of a sub-niche. The company not only diagnoses patients but also sends them the medication they need to start their treatment.
The sub-niche focuses on chronic patients, who require medication regularly to achieve an objective, such as those who use contraceptives for family planning. When they decide to use contraceptives, they face two problems. The first is knowing which method is ideal for them and the second is buying and using that method consistently and correctly to achieve the expected results. This applies to many treatments, such as male pattern baldness, female hair loss, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, cholesterol and many others.
Choiz focuses on this segment because these are the patients with the most contact with the healthcare system and who suffer the most when the healthcare system is bad, expensive or inefficient. Choiz aims to replace the hassle that users face when they need to go to a doctor's appointment: searching on Google for a specialist; finding a doctor with good reviews, located near their home and affordable; and deciding to go to the appointment and paying for it. In the best-case scenario, the doctor is good and provides a clear explanation of the treatment they need. Once they have a prescription, they need to go to a pharmacy for their medicine. There they may find that the medication is out of stock, expensive or not the exact one prescribed by their doctor. If everything goes well, they buy the medication, go back home and start using it. However, any medication can have adverse effects or initially produce different effects that affect their daily life. This leads patients to research their symptoms on Google, which does not always provide accurate information. If the patient does not get a satisfactory answer, they stop using the treatment, a phenomenon known as non-adherence to treatment.
Q: How does Choiz improve adherence to treatment?
A: The better the adherence, the better the results. Choiz facilitates access to the healthcare system by making it virtual and cost-effective, promoting treatment adherence by providing timely medication through our automatic refills. We always send the medication on time so it is never taken late and the same doctor who evaluated the patient on our platform accompanies them throughout the treatment to answer all their questions.
Our service is 100% online, as we do not offer consultations in person. Instead, we leverage technology to provide our services. Our website greatly simplifies the process. A patient chooses the treatment and starts with a digital onboarding process, which consists of answering between eight and 32 health-related questions, depending on the treatment. This allows us to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a patient profile. We have decision trees that help us understand whether the patient is a high, medium or low risk. This information is then made available to the doctor, who provides recommendations for the best treatment through a chat within our platform.
Q: Why did Choiz focus on hair treatments and sexual health issues?
A: Initially, we focused on younger ages because it is easier for young people to use a digital system and because of taboos. In Mexico, many topics are not easily discussed and our online services provide a sense of privacy and personalization. Taboo subjects in Mexico and Latin America include male beauty, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, contraception and everything related to sexual health and freedom. Although these taboos are gradually diminishing, there was a time when it was frowned upon for men to take care of their appearance, have good skin or have hair. With our brand, we speak directly to consumers. We are a B2C company that talks to consumers about taking care of themselves, thinking about their sexuality and enjoying sex and beauty.
We also saw that taboo subjects are easier to address online. For example, pharmacies sell more Sildenafil (used for erectile dysfunction) online than in physical stores. This indicates that people feel a certain embarrassment or shame when purchasing such products in person, while online platforms provide a sense of anonymity.
Q: Have you identified any specific consequences of post-COVID-19 syndrome in patients related to hair loss or changes in sexual function? How does Choiz help address these?
A: Once a patient is treated by Choiz, their doctor can monitor the impact of COVID-19. Women who had COVID-19 experienced two typical reactions: changes in their menstrual cycle and hair loss. They can direct any questions to the Choiz doctor, who is already familiar with their medical history.
The platform helps maintain the doctor-patient relationship so the patient does not have to switch doctors and receive conflicting advice. We also provide medical assessments, follow-ups, medication delivery and specialized medications that are not typically found in pharmacies. A significant part of the patient's follow-up is done using data, analytics and machine learning. Most of our products are more affordable than those found in traditional pharmacies.
Q: What steps does Choiz take to ensure the safe delivery of treatments to patients' homes?
A: We ensure that the products arrive in perfect condition. The product comes sealed in unbreakable plastic and uses discreet packaging, which is important considering the taboo nature of the products. The box does not display anything about Choiz; it is a wooden-colored box made of paper. When patients open the paper package, they will find the Choiz box inside, along with a welcome flier.
The product also has a security seal to ensure privacy, neither the delivery person nor anyone else knows what is being delivered. We work with different logistics and courier services to ensure the best possible delivery time. We collaborate with a courier service in Mexico City and the State of Mexico, as well as with another regional courier service.
Unlike pharmacies, we provide a subscription-based model, which makes it easier to manage logistics because we know when each user's deliveries are due. We do not need to make forecasts because the system automatically calculates it based on the subscription dates of users. When the medication reaches the patient, the algorithm automatically calculates the next refill date, ensuring a reliable and timely service.
Q: What measures does Choiz take to ensure that its healthcare professionals are qualified and trustworthy?
A: Choiz is not a marketplace. The doctors we have on Choiz are those we actively search for and train. It is like hiring a person for our team after interviewing and validating their technical skills. Once selected, we provide them with training and measure their Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is based on recommendations by users.
We have an internal team of experts in dermatology and gynecology and we follow the best practices from Harvard University, Oxford University and many others in the field of telemedicine. This ensures that doctors are trained on the latest research. All doctors in Choiz follow the same clinical approach, which is vital because a common complaint from patients is that one doctor told them one thing, while another told them something different. This often happens because they may have been trained differently or did not have access to the same information. With Choiz, we have a unified and standardized approach to medical information.
Choiz is an online platform based in Argentina that provides medical attention and follow-up care. Choiz aims to simplify the healthcare experience for its users and ensure they receive the best possible care for their chronic conditions.