Medical App ushers in ‘new normal’ for health care

Published June 30, 2020, 4:07 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The hospital scene all over the world has changed drastically since the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic started. What used to be hospitals teeming with people with different ailments and issues has now turned into hospitals swamped mainly with COVID-19 cases.

People who are suffering from non-COVID related health concerns would rather stay at home and bear their illnesses alone than risk going to the hospital and getting infected with the disease.

This is the new normal people are sadly dealing with right now. But this unprecedented period in time has prompted Filipinos to become more enterprising, especially when it comes to addressing their health concerns.

Imagine making an appointment with your doctor, getting a drug prescription, and having your medicines delivered without leaving the comfort of your home. This is exactly what Kitika, a subscription-based app, is offering.

Kitika was established even before the current pandemic started, but its arrival in the country could not be more timely. It is a platform where doctors and their patients can connect and transact anywhere and in any manner they feel most comfortable with—be it through chat, voice or video call.

Kitika CEO Jerome Sebastian revealed that the app currently has 11,000 subscribers with 80 healthcare professionals ranging from nurses, general practitioners, and specialist doctors.

He added that their numbers have spiked significantly ever since most of the country was placed under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

But even as parts of the Philippines transitioned from the ECQ to the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), and now from the MECQ to a general community quarantine (GCQ), Sebastian believes that more and more people will be using the app because of its accessibility.

“We at Kitika truly believe in bridging the gap between patients and doctors, especially in this new normal that we live in,” he said. “The patient needs a technological solution to consult a doctor from home, while doctors need a way to attend to their patients remotely. We are that bridge that connects the two together.”

At the same time, Sebastian said that Kitika offers affordable healthcare. A one-month subscription costs only P119 per person, followed by P319 for three months, P579 for six months, and P959 for one year.

They also offer subscription plans for families of four for P379 for a one-month subscription, P1,049 for three months, P1,929 for six months, and P3,199 for one year.

Sebastian added that Kitika has a pretty simple interface that people, even those who are not tech-savvy, can easily navigate. The whole process starts with the triage, where nurses will assess a patient’s condition before transferring the call to an accredited licensed doctor.

The doctor will then go through the symptoms with the patient before recommending a treatment plan or referring the patient to a partner specialist. Should there be any prescriptions, it will be sent to the patient’s Kitika inbox and registered e-mail.

The app will be taking a step further soon by offering medicine delivery. “Patients can also have their electronically-prescribed medicines delivered to them through a medicine delivery feature that we will be launching in a few days,” shared Sebastian.