This week, Zava, a telemedicine provider with over 3 million paid consultations to date, has announced a $ 32 million Series A investment ahead of its launch into statutory healthcare systems in Germany, France and the UK.
Zava’s mission is to build healthcare that is accessible, dependable and a fraction of today’s cost and patients seem to approve of its ability to provide the expert healthcare they need, both quickly and conveniently, with almost 100,000 people from around Europe accessing the service every month. Like other telemedicine companies, Zava enables patients to be connected with a doctor online within minutes, but unlike many others, Zava does not provide video consultations.
Zava’s patient-doctor interactions are led, primarily, by written communication initiated by clinical questionnaires designed to save both doctor and patient time, whilst still upholding quality and safety. The questionnaires ask patients to describe their symptoms, upload relevant pictures, and answer symptom-specific questions. If necessary, a home testing kit will then be sent to the patient. A doctor reviews the information and provides advice and required treatment, which, depending on location, can be delivered straight to the patient’s home or collected from a local pharmacy within a few hours.
The questions reportedly match those asked by a physician in a face-to-face appointment and Zava says that by providing the patient with time to provide a considered written response, often the information provided can be more accurate and thorough, in turn enabling more personalized and effective care.
Zava claims that patients often struggle with the video consultations provided by other telemedicine services and the absence of the face-to-face element could serve to reduce some of the anxieties associated with seeing a doctor and may support more effective patient-to-clinician communication for those less comfortable discussing medical conditions that they might find embarrassing.
Currently, Zava’s business model is predominantly direct-to-consumer, although some customers are able to have fees reimbursed by their health insurer. With this latest raise, their sights are firmly set on exploring avenues that will enable them to integrate and synergize with local health systems like the UK’s NHS to provide their service free at the point of care.
David Meinertz, Zava co-founder and CEO comments:
In a world of an ageing population and rising costs, healthcare systems are at a breaking point. Barriers are put in people’s way and stop them getting the support they need. Zava exists to break down these barriers – costs, access & information. Enabling people to do more of what matters to them.”
Now, more than ever, increasing numbers of telemedicine companies are entering the market, raising capital, growing, maturing and putting their own spin on delivering a service as they find their niche. And there seems to be room for a few different offerings. To give an idea of the size of the market; in 2018, Rock Health found “on-demand services” to be the number one value proposition of all companies across digital health, attracting $ 1.41 billion in funding across 50 deals. As people are looking for ever-personalized healthcare services, telemedicine providers like Zava are now offering real choice to patients of how and where they want to be diagnosed and treated.