Digital doctor start-up Zava raises £20m to expand remote consultations across Europe
Imagine yourself sitting in the comfort of your own house. And having an appointment with the doctor. A real one, not a no-name from the local forum who claims cat piss can regrow your long-lost finger.
The health startup from London is what can make it happen. The company offers busy (or lazy) patients to connect with the doctor through its site. Online appointments are meant to make it easier to get a medical consultation. And the start-up, that came with this brilliant idea, secured the new funding.
The process it works is the following: you fill a form telling about your issue, you get an appointment with the doctor, the doctor consults you on your problem where they repeat a prescription you had before, give you advice or sends a test kit.
The doctors on the other side of the screen are real doctors. Certified. Live. So no worries a crazy bot will prescribe you laxative on the whim. Zava (the start-up) said that a questionnaire is enough in many cases to provide a patient with a consultation. Since 2011, the years it was founded, people have received three million paid consultations.
The services Zava offers include tests for common health issues such as diabetes or cholesterol tests. Consultations included referring many of the common issues divided into sections: Men’s health, Women’s health, Sexual health, Travel health, Chronic, and Wellbeing. After receiving a prescription, patients can have it delivered the next day.
Now, about the fun part — the money. The funding Zava obtained — £20 million is one of the biggest funding deals for a health app on an early stage this year.
The robo-doctor start-up Babylon raised $60m in 2017. The app connected patients with a bot powered by artificial intelligence. Hope, it didn’t prescribe anyone laxatives. One of the investors was a Swedish investment firm Kinnevik.
Dutch investment firm HPE Growth secured the funding for Zava. It is reported that the start-up’s revenue in 2017 was about £17 million and they even got some profit if to believe the latest accounts.
According to Zava chief executive David Meinertz, the idea of online appointments came to him after regular visits to his GP for a repeating prescription for blood pressure. Such an idea must have come to other people’s heads as well, cos these repeating visits are so annoying. But he was the one who made it work.
Today around a hundred thousand people use the service when seeking treatment. If you have one of about 65 medical conditions listed on the site, you are safe and sound and don’t have to see your local hospital. Unless you have some special condition which definitely requires a physical examination. Then you have no other option — go and see people or suffer.