Smart Doctor, a Peruvian telemedicine health tech whose service is offered by companies as a corporate benefit, has just landed in Brazil. Also operating in Mexico and Colombia since last year, when it raised a $1.5 million pre-seeded round Pareto20, Fresh-Ventures, and GreenEgg Venture, among other investors, the startup also hopes to arrive in Chile soon. By 2025, Smart Doctor’s goal is to have 2,000 companies as customers in the country and more than 10,000 in at least ten countries in Latin America.
The startup launched in 2020 with a B2C model, Smart Doctor, came to provide care to the Peruvian population, focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic through a six-month agreement with the country’s Ministry of Health. According to the startup‘s co-founder and chief medical officer Karen Salirrosas, the period was essential to test the Smart Doctor platform.
“Taking this period together, there are more than 200 thousand patients already attended by Smart Doctor since its creation. Over time, however, we realized that the investment needed to scale the business as B2C (direct to consumer) would be much higher and that the B2B model (for other companies) offered a faster path and made it possible to [fund] something that interests us a lot, which is the social impact part and the service of vulnerable populations”, she explained in an interview with LABS. Smart Doctor was created by her and CEO Christian Rivera.
The cost of Smart Doctor’s service, which offers online medical consultations with general practitioners and other specialties, in addition to nutritionists and psychologists, starts at R$50 per employee and can vary according to the number of consultations (generally three per month) and specialties contained in the package. Salirrosas says that both companies that do not yet offer any health benefits and those that already have health insurance for their employees see Smart Doctor as an interesting complement, which contributes to a series of metrics of well-being and productivity of companies.
The service, by the way, is usually offered not only to employees but to up to five people from the employees’ family circle; requirements are as strict as those of health plans. “This means that family members such as grandparents and cousins, or even other close people, can be assisted through the benefit.”
Salirrosas recalled that, in general, the difficulty in accessing health care in Latin America is frequent and that health systems, even private ones, tend to work to treat sick people. “We work more with a preventive medicine guideline, focusing not only on physical health but also psychological and emotional health of patients.”
“This has a direct effect on absenteeism rates and productivity. It is with this focus that we have approached companies”, added Daniela Canoa Guanaes, head of expansion of the startup in Brazil. Smart Doctor arrived here serving employees of companies that are already its customers in other countries, such as Natura, Scania, and WeWork, for example, but also expects to close new contracts with Brazilian companies. First, the focus is on technology companies, startups, or organizations already accustomed to remote or hybrid work and digital tools.
Through Smart Doctor’s platform, employees of client companies can search and schedule appointments online in ten minutes. The platform also allows them to gather exam results and prescriptions in the same place. Employee satisfaction and well-being monitoring indices are also generated for client companies, a vital instrument for any HR.
The startup‘s most significant effort is in forming the network of doctors and health professionals in each country, which is usually done by indication and in regulatory adaptations since each country, for example, usually has its own telemedicine rules and prescribing tests and medications.