The platform provides an online community along with access to specialised care and pharmacy services
Spotted: A feature in the journal Nature recently demonstrated that when it comes to diseases “that are dominant in one sex,” 8 of the top 10 most burdensome affect mostly women. Mental illness sits at the top of that list, with women making up at least 60 per cent of those suffering from a qualifying condition. Yet biomedical research into diseases that are lop-sided in terms of gender is itself highly imbalanced, with the diseases that cause the most death and disability for women significantly underfunded. As a result, there is a significant ‘gender health gap’ in many countries – including South Africa.
With unequal research comes unequal access, as women with the underfunded diseases go undiagnosed and untreated. South African digital health platform Zoie hopes to start changing this by prioritising female health with an all-in-one women’s and family health clinic. This online platform provides help for every age group, from newborns to those going through the menopause, and connects women to clinicians offering virtual consultations, prescriptions, an online pharmacy, and specialty care that includes family planning, maternity support, and community connections.
The platform further offers free resources like news articles on the latest healthcare information and guides for various life stages. Patients can then book consultations with clinicians specialising in everything from diet and general health to fertility, and they can also order female-specific supplements.
Members have access to exclusive events with medical experts and can connect with other women online. And for women in locations where it may be difficult to access contraception, Zoie provides online consultations, prescriptions, and discreet delivery options.
Zoie’s cofounders used their experiences to build the platform – which is designed for women, by women – and the ultimate goal is to provide care for more than 500 million women.
Technology is bringing many benefits to the health industry, and innovations in Springwise’s database that are specifically for women include a new platform for last-mile access to female health products and a device that provides medical-grade period pain relief with no chemicals.
Written By: Keely Khoury