Daily Markup #44: Singapore-based startup launches telemedicine service for the elderly

Connecting the elderly with medical professionals, virtually.

Teleconsultation for the elderly

  • Since launching in 2016, 500-backed Homage’s core business has been to help families match with caregivers for rehabilitation and nursing of elderly loved ones. It currently has the largest fully-screened pool of close to 2,000 qualified elderly care professionals.
  • Now, it has launched Homage Health, providing medical services such as home medical visits, teleconsultation, and medication delivery — for care recipients in their own homes.
Credit: Homage
  • As part of a holistic healthcare experience, existing trained Homage caregivers and medical professionals can be engaged to provide in-person support for seniors to conduct online consultations with doctors. These sessions can help diagnose common conditions such as flu or allergies, or when medication refills are needed.
  • All doctors are pre-screened by Homage before they’re added to the platform. They must be registered with the Singapore Medical Council and have a minimum five years of medical training.
  • Homage’s teleconsultation services will also be extended for rehabilitation and therapy sessions, such as virtual video call sessions with speech therapists.
  • Developed before the Covid-19 pandemic, co-founder and CEO Gillian Tee tells TechCrunch that recent events have accelerated the roll-out of the service.
  • “Particularly with COVID-19, as an essential service, we felt a higher impetus to ensure our care recipients can continue to gain access to in-home and caregiving services,” Gillian says.
  • More on Homage Health on TechCrunch.

Lending a Supahand

  • When 500-backed Supahands started 6 years ago, it helped clients with repetitive tasks and errands.
  • Fast forward to now, the company is lending its expertise in artificial intelligence to help global tech companies and SMEs train their systems for efficiency, specifically through high-quality data labeling.
  • Speaking to Enterprise, co-founder and CEO Mark Koh talks how Supahands is helping companies create machine-learning models and why the company hasn’t been affected by lockdown measures in Malaysia.
Credit: The Edge Malaysia
  • “Labeling data for the purpose of training a machine learning model is a highly human-intensive task that also requires a level of skill, in addition to requiring the labeler to potentially go through thousands of images and labeling them individually,” Mark says.
  • To combat this, Supahands counts on its 13,000 SupaAgents. As most of them are remote-based, social distancing measures didn’t deter them from finishing projects on time.
Credit: Digital News Asia
  • Supahands is not only helping larger companies like fellow 500-backed Bukalapak and American tech firm Inbotta with data streamlining, but also SMEs that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis.
  • “We service a variety of retail sectors, including both offline and online players in the market. With e-commerce clients, we work to improve the accuracy of the product search function on their websites by ensuring that all the products that have been uploaded are tagged with the right sets of labels.”
  • Read Mark’s full interview with Enterprise here.

Pandemic fuels pharma startup

  • Due to its nature of business, 500-backed pharmaceutical startup Dawaai was deemed “essential” as Pakistan went into lockdown to mitigate the coronavirus spread.
  • As demand for medical supplies heightened, Dawaai’s business started flourishing. “Demand has tripled,” according to CEO Furquan Kidwai in an interview with FinanceAsia.
Credit: Finance Asia
  • Dawaai primarily operates as an online pharmacy targeting both the B2B (retail pharmacies, medical stores and businesses) and the B2C segments across the country.
  • With the sudden surge of requests, Dawaai stays efficient by segregating orders across seven warehouses in the country and distributing them through logistic partners. It also keeps a close eye along the supply chain to ensure the authenticity of goods sold through the platform.
Credit: YouTube
  • Besides that, Dawaai has diversified to selling general medical supplies — from crutches and splints to examination tables and blood pressure cuffs.
  • Ultimately, Dawaai believes the growth it has been experiencing during this period will set the backdrop to a profitable 2020.
  • Read the full interview here.

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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Southeast Asia family of funds. The 500 Southeast Asia funds have backed over 240 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

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