Aegle is a leading digital health company in Nigeria. In a country where trooping to hospitals, joining long queues and waiting forever to be attended by a doctor is the norm, Aeglehealth helps people to easily reach out to medical personnel and get help faster.
The company was launched 6 years ago and provided its services mainly as a web app. However, in November 2020, they saw the need for mobile versions of the web app and launched them on Android and iOS.
I took an in-depth look at the Android app and will share my experience and what I think of it with you here. I used version 1.0 of the app which already has over 1,000 downloads on the Playstore.
Nigerians spend a lot of time waiting in hospital halls
To find out how often people have to wait in hospitals, research was carried out at the University College Hospital (UCH). It showed that about 97% of people who visit hospitals have to wait a length of time before they can be attended to by a doctor and they are frustrated about it. The constant waste of time as well as the stress that the waiting piles on the patient’s health have emphasized the need for alternative ways of seeing doctors and other necessary practitioners.
With Covid-19 in the mix, people have to avoid crowded places which include hospitals.
Because of these challenges, telemedicine and healthtech startups began launching on-demand apps to help people access healthcare better.
Despite the many apps, the need to provide the service at an affordable price while ensuring that different medical practitioners are always available when patients request for them still remains. This is the space that Aegle set out to fill with its soft product, AegleHealth.
Using the app
After installing the app, I created a user account with my name, email and phone number. The dashboard has options through which you can talk to a doctor, assess your symptoms or mental health, and generally monitor your health.
To talk to a doctor, I selected the ‘Talk to a Doctor’ option, filled in my appointment details, selected the medical practitioner I needed and booked the appointment. Aeglehealth offers three different types of medical practitioners for its users: Specialists; Therapists; and Medical Doctors. The practitioners available to you would depend on the monthly subscription plan you choose
If you select the option to mentally assess your health, an interface opens up with a list of interesting emojis that depict different moods. Based on the emoji that you select, the algorithm asks you a series of questions that help to determine what might be wrong with you, if you need to see a medical practitioner, and the type of practitioner that you should see.
Assessing my mental health was one of the engaging aspects of using Aeglehealth. In case you were wondering, I was told to see a therapist, but that was because I selected all the answers that suggested I was having a crisis!
The Health Monitor is a unique aspect of Aeglehealth that helps you to constantly evaluate the effects that your lifestyle and habits have on your overall health. The app has a digital doctor named Aegle. Aegle leads the evaluation by asking you a series of relevant questions. The reasons available for evaluating yourself can be to relieve stress, eat healthier, lose weight, check if you have a hereditary disease or any other reason.
I scheduled an appointment with a medical doctor on the app and selected the time that worked for me. Aeglehealth allows you to schedule an appointment either immediately, in a few hours time, or in a few days time depending on what you need. Since I wanted my consultation that same day, I booked for an hour later and it was confirmed.
I agreed to let Aeglehealth access my Google Calendar, it added the appointment to my schedule and when the time came, I was prompted to join the doctor virtually in the consultation room. The doctor was welcoming and listened as I told him my symptoms and described what was wrong with me. He recommended drugs to take, habits to tweak and ways to improve my health in that area.
At the end of the session, I felt that I got value for my time and money during the consultation with the doctor.
Aeglehealth plans include medical notes and referral notes where necessary. The notes are prepared for the patient after the consultation with the doctor has ended. After each session, Medical notes are shared with the patient and the next steps are taken either to get drugs with a doctor’s prescription or to make some lifestyle changes.
Compared to competitors, Aeglehealth’s pricing is affordable
You are required to subscribe to any of the health plans available on the app either for a month, three months, or six months. If you want to only consult with doctors, you can pay N1,500 monthly, N4,000 for 3 months or N14,000 for a year.
To book therapists, you can pay N5,000 per appointment or N7,000 monthly. To see a specialist costs N10,000 per appointment. Compared to the regular cost of consulting a specialist which could rise to as much as N40,000, Aeglehealth’s pricing would rank as one of the most affordable in the telemedicine space in Nigeria.
There are other telemedicine platforms in Nigeria. They include Oncopadi and Tremendoc. Tremendoc offers a subscription plan that allows you to see doctors for N1,000 monthly while Oncopadi allows you to do the same for N3,500 monthly. Oncopadi also has the free plan where you can have a live chat with medical personnel, but the services are expectedly leaner than that of a paid plan.
Although Tremendoc prices seem lower than Aeglehealth’s, the platform only offers access to doctors. Considering that Aeglehealth offers access to other specialists besides medical doctors, comparatively, it offers more utility and benefits.
Other services similar to Aeglehealth’s Health Monitor and Mental Assessment are not available on Tremendoc. While Tremendoc has about 200 licensed doctors, Aeglehealth has more than 500 medical experts, according to the company.
Aeglehealth also has specialists for Mental Health, Child Health, Ante-natal care, Optical Care, and Women’s Health, available on its platform.
In summary, Aeglehealth provides a very vast array of specialist offering. It also grants added benefits like immediate medical notes, pre-consultation with a digital doctor which would in turn determine if you need to see an expert in the first place. Finally, its broad assembly of services comes at an affordable price.
So, if you require one single platform that would cover all your health concerns, you should try out Aeglehealth. You will get great medical assistance for your money.
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