Often being compared with Indonesia due to its similar geographical condition and population, the Philippines are where all eyes are looking at now. It stores many potentials, but somehow it has not lived up to the expectation of producing startups in the scale of Indonesia’s unicorns.
According to a report released by e27, active startups in the Philippines only raised a combined value of US$304 million in 2018, compared to Indonesia’s staggering US$4.07 billion worth of deals overall. In the Philippines, startups that progress well are those in the fintech, gaming, and media advertising sectors.
So what about healthtech, with the country tries to catch up by facilitating more players this year?
A recent article published by Dymon Asia Ventures highlighted how in healthcare, traditional players are investing in real-estate based plays (clinics, hospitals) rather than in technology. However, these nine names are here to change that.
Medifi is a cloud-based web app that allows remote doctor and patient consultation through its set of telehealth features, such as video conferencing, chat messaging, a personal medical profile and journal, and medical image management.
Medifi, led by Freddy Gonzalez as the CEO, aims to make pre-visit evaluation and post-treatment follow-ups more convenient. Medifi therefore wants to minimise unnecessary clinic visits by enabling users to consult using telemedicine technology.
With Medifi, patients can have access to video consultations, messaging, medical imaging, and a personal health profile at home.
The startup also partners with e-pharma startup MedGrocer to allow patients to fill digital prescriptions with a click or tap.
KonsultaMD is a 24/7 health hotline service that is managed by trained, experienced, and licensed doctors providing a medical assessment. KonsultaMD offers health and wellness counselling, ambulance referrals, and professional medical advice under one platform.
In 2017, KonsultaMD joined forces with several other local healthtech providers such as MedGrocer and Lifeline that are accessible through both subscription and hotline number.
Although it leans more towards insurtech, MariaHealth definitely deserves a mention in this list. Focussing on providing accessible healthcare for all, MariaHealth was started in 2015 to raise the number of Filipinos with healthcare that accounted for only four per cent at that time.
MariaHealth aimed to simplify of the process of getting information from providers by allowing users to compare what the top healthcare brands, primary care clinics, and ambulatory service providers have to offer –and shop right after.
Back in May, MariaHealth received seed investment from tryb Group alongside Gobi Partners, Wavemaker, Hustle Fund, and Grand Metro Holdings. The seed round was continued from January when Gobi Partners invested with Core Capital JV in the company.
Stash prides itself on the proprietary dashboard (SaaS) that it builds, aimed at connecting healthcare professionals with customers. Stash said that its primary focus is to work on claims management platform for health insurance companies and doctors in the Philippines.
Stash replaces paper-pushing with digital documentation that it believes can effectively prevent fraud and abuse along the way. It does so by linking patients, doctors, and health maintenance organisations under its platform. It leverages on its “expertise in information technology and domain knowledge in healthcare,” cutting through complicated systems that make healthcare administration difficult.
Arooga Health is a tech-based emotional and mental healthcare platform that matches employees with the appropriate care providers based on their objective of seeking help, financial budget, available schedule, and preferred medium of virtual interaction.
Targeting employees, Arooga campaigns the importance of mental health to avoid unnecessary medical expenses. By addressing mental health concerns, Arooga believes it could help boost employees’ overall work productivity, as well as help care providers get new customers.
Arooga Health was founded by Dominique De Leon and Niña Samantha Sanchez.
As learned on their site, Arooga Health is currently in the development stage of Andrea, an AI-guided solution for employees to learn more about mental health 24/7, get personalised wellness modules, and schedule a consultation to a licensed care provider.
MedCheck is a clinical data analytics company that specialises in non-communicable disease.
It means MedCheck provides physicians and data contributors with cloud-based EMR software to study trends of diseases and treatments, and share these statistics with healthcare providers to help improve treatment methods and patient outcomes.
Under WellBridge Health, an FDA-licensed drug delivery service, MedGrocer runs its ordering and delivery service arm.
MedGrocer‘s technology platform optimises the medicine purchase experience by letting users upload their prescriptions, do a search, and communicate directly with the available pharmacist. Then the pharmacist will text to verify users’ order, request details, and provide advice on how to manage the medicines, right before it is being delivered.
MedGrocer also offers a corporate-service-type of delivery, in which corporations can have vaccinations with online signups, integrated communications, and on-site administration. It also builds integrated analytics, patient care programmes, and company clinic augmentation.
Aide allows users to book a home appointment with doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and a masseuse as well as medical technicians.
In 2017, Paolo and Pamela Bugayong-Donato, Patricia Bugayong-Reyes and her brother Patrick introduced Aide, a home visit booking app for professional health care services.
Aide also offers appointment booking for veterinarian service.
With Aide, a regular check-up or laboratory test can be done at home in the patient’s most convenient state.
Aide raised funding from Ayala Healthcare Holdings (AC Health) in October 2018, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Philippines-based Ayala Corporation, a conglomerate with multiple business interests in real estate, banking, and telecom.
Zennya’s approach is to let users take control of their health by choosing services through a mobile app, and order the services they need on their time and schedule.
Zennya uses machine learning system that is combined with trained and continuously assessed care providers through its mobile professional education platform. Using Zennya, healthcare providers can put treatment notes and diagnostics data to be captured through providers’ mobile exam room system. It will also be reviewed by automated expert systems.
Currently, Zennya said that it is developing a personalised mobile digital health network that connects users to a range of health and wellness services, laboratories, and diagnostic services. Its system will integrate data from mobile-connected diagnostics devices and wearables to provide a 360-degree view of users’ vital health and wellness information.
Some startups mentioned above, such as Arooga Health and MedCheck, offer a different aspect of healthtech that is both uncommon and necessary. With the sector set on innovation and gradual progress, healthtech is looking at a bright future in the country –opening doors for the first unicorn the country could ever see.