Employing technology to make services available on-demand is where a lot of businesses are headed right now. In the healthtech sector, telemedicine platform, Tremendoc has built a business around making medical experts available to people on-demand.
The telemedicine platform was first launched 3 years ago by Ugochukwu Chigezie. It was then relaunched on August 21, 2019, and since then has carried out more than 35,000 consultations on its platform.
Servicing medical professionals and regular users
Through an android and iOS mobile app, interested users can register for and access TremenDoc’s services. Two categories of people can use the app. One is the medical professional, and the other is the regular person who wants access to medical practitioners.
Users can access medical practitioners through chat, video and online audio calls. Individuals, corporate bodies and companies that want HMO plans can have services that have been tailored to their needs and size at different prices.
Tremendoc gets medical professionals to join its network through an online form available on its web and mobile app. The doctors sign up and earn on each consultation that they render to patients.
The doctor’s note as well as prescription and consultation summary are provided to the patient online. The startup also provides diet plans for feeding and fitness for the corporate plan.
Tremendoc Mobile App
While there are separate apps for doctors and patients on the Playstore, only the doctors’ app exists on the App store. The app for doctors has more than 500 downloads on Playstore while the version for patients has more than 10,000 downloads.
According to TremenDoc, it has over 200 licensed doctors signed up and using the platform. This means that not all of the 500 downloads by doctors on the Playstore are users, and the same could also apply for the regular users.
The android app crashed when I tried launching it on a Samsung Galaxy A70 but worked perfectly on Samsung A50s. This could be a software glitch that may be fixed with a future upgrade.
Using the platform
In addition to registration details like name and phone number, the mobile app asks you to input your bank account number before your account is created and launched.
An important point to note is that accounts from only two banks are accepted on the TremenDoc platform. You have to either have a Sterling Bank account or a Standard Chartered account.
This is looks like a limitation of sorts. There are more than 20 commercial banks in Nigeria and limiting your business to only about 10% of them doesn’t seem like the most lucrative thing to do. Moreover, Sterling and Standard Chartered aren’t in the top 6 banks by customer base. This means Tremendoc is missing out on the top banks with the largest customer base.
We reached out to the telemedicine platform to understand this choice and are yet to get a response. We will update the story if we eventually do.
Using the app
To choose a subscription plan, I had to add my card details for any of the banks allowed by the platform and pay for the service that suited me.
Some phone versions may not be supported by TremenDoc’s mobile app. However, if the app crashes on your phone as it did on mine, you can try using an alternative device.
Only people who have existing accounts with Sterling and Standard Chartered can have access to the services. Folks without these bank accounts will be required to open new accounts with either of the banks.
In the case of an emergency where someone recommends the app to another, the bank barrier could defeat the purpose of easy access to medical doctors if one has to first open a new bank account.
You can scroll through the list of doctors who are available on the platform but cannot request for a consultation until you select a subscription plan. Once you input your card details, the startup gives you a free 60-day trial after which you will start to pay.
Competition, Pricing, Funding
Startups offering similar services to TremenDoc include Oncopadi and Helium Health. Both startups allow users to schedule telemedical consultations with doctors at a price. Helium Health requires that the patient be registered with any of the hospitals it is affiliated with while Oncopadi and TremenDoc do not have such requirements.
While TremenDoc has a plan for individuals that cost N1,000, Oncopadi has a free plan that provides only a live chat for patients. The least expensive plan on Oncopadi is N3,500 and it gives access to audio/video consultation with a doctor.
Users of Helium Health have the charges fixed by the hospital whose doctor is providing the consultation. Of the three though, TremenDoc provides the most affordable access to medical doctors in the country.
The startup has not announced any funding since it started.
TremenDoc provides access to medical doctors at an affordable price but the bank strings it attaches narrow down people’s payment options.
Nevertheless, if you are not against opening a new account or paying a monthly fee to access doctors online, you should check it out. Don’t forget the possibility that your phone may not launch the app.