SIF, which is said to be the country’s first services aggregator app, has announced it is expanding its line-up of offerings with the inclusion of telemedicine consultations through its hospital and health service provider partners.
The move comes in light of the expected demand for location-based services beyond grooming, wellness, coaching, and other self-improvement programs that it currently operates. With the expansion, SIF will have psychiatrists and accredited medical professionals from different fields of specialization available for consultation without the need for patients to leave their home.
Anticipating a growing demand for psychiatric services brought about by the enhanced community quarantine and the global recession due to Covid-19, SIF chief executive Luigi Nuñez started the partnership deal with the local medical institutions to bring health professionals on board.
Users of the app can do consultation over video calls for matters that do not necessitate a face-to-face meeting, especially with the current quarantine landscape.
“Covid-19 is a wake-up call for everyone including us. We believe we are in a position to offer our clients a way to find support via SIF given that they are already relying on the app for numerous solutions that help them avoid leaving home,” Nuñez said.
Medical apps are making headway given the aggressive adoption of mobile devices and the growing affordability of data. Of the various medical expertise required, neurological and mental health are among those that can benefit the most from telemedicine, according to the startup.
With a majority of communities and households facing social distancing and isolation, experts have recognized the need for psychiatric specialists to assist in the day-to-day needs of a growing segment of the market, it added.
SIF recently added a number of categories in its recent update. Among the major ones include automobile repairs and maintenance through SIF Motors, cloud-kitchen food services as part of SIF Food, and SIF Home. SIF is also working on the next update that would focus more on Health, Learning, Masterskills, and Law.
“Covid-19, just like 9/11, it will change the entire landscape of doing business or simply just living our lives. We are studying all aspects of the human psyche and how it will adapt to the new normal. All facets of life will be disrupted, and we are challenged by coming up with solutions to address this,” Nuñez said.
The “super app” expect to become the country’s first homegrown tech unicorn, a category for local companies valued at least P1 billion, due to its aggressive partner integration program, wide services, and product offerings, and ease of market entry throughout the region.
In addition to local users, over 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in more than 100 countries, stand to benefit from Filipino professionals and experts through a simple video call for consultation or to book regular health check-ups for their families here in the Philippines.
“The quarantine situation also showed us that we have a market that can easily adapt to online banking, grocery, and household item sourcing. There simply isn’t any reason why we can’t expand to include healthcare, consultation, and learning. By doing so, we are able to help them make better use of their time for the more important things in life,” Nuñez said.