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With Shohoz Health, Shohoz Eyes Growing Telemedicine and Digital Healthcare Services Market

Shohoz, the Dhaka-based technology company that calls itself super-app of Bangladesh, announced that it is about to launch a healthcare solution called Shohoz Health. 

Shohoz Health, scheduled to be launched on May 16th, will provide telemedicine solutions and on-demand medicine delivery. 

The company says it has over 100 doctors and 100 plus pharmacies on its platform. Users will be able to avail telemedicine service and get on-demand medicine delivery using Shohoz Health app. 

Apart from pushing its Shohoz Food service, this is the first time Shohoz is launching a service outside of transportation and delivery amid the pandemic. Shohoz’s main ride-hailing and transportation related businesses remain shutdown amid the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The new initiative into healthcare could offer a viable opportunity for Shohoz. 

Telemedicine is increasingly becoming an in-demand service amid coronavirus pandemic. The state of overall access to healthcare has deteriorated due to the pressure and fear of the pandemic. A growing number of people are fearful of visiting hospitals. As a result, the reliance on telemedicine and on-demand medicine delivery is growing by the day. 

Pivot to grocery and healthcare has become a thing of late. In a rush of creativity amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, companies are trying a myriad of strategies to survive, even thrive. 

For example, Pathao, another ride-hailing startup in Dhaka, has launched Pathao Health on Wednesday, a healthcare services aggregator, in partnership with a number of digital healthcare services startups in Dhaka. 

Shohoz Health is much different compared to Pathao Health. While Pathao Health is bringing the services in collaboration with a number of independent digital healthcare services providers such as Praava Health, Maya as an aggregator of digital healthcare services in one place, Shohoz Health itself is an independent digital healthcare services platform where you can directly avail telemedicine services and on-demand medicine delivery services. Shohoz Health is, in many ways, a competitor to Praava Health and other telemedicine services and online pharmacies including Pathao. 

While Pathao Health’s business model is predicated on commissions from partners in the future, Shohoz Health has a straightforward business model as any telemedicine service. Shohoz Health is a fully managed telemedicine service. And for the online pharmacy part, the company is working with physical pharmacies similar to its food delivery model which will depend on commission. 

While digital healthcare services remain primitive in Dhaka, the vertical has seen increasing consumer demand of late. There are now a number of significant players in the telemedicine and online pharmacy space. We have seen an increase in interest in digital healthcare services from both consumers as well as entrepreneurs amid the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, new players are routinely entering the space. 

Among the existing players in the market, Digital Healthcare Solutions, Praava Health, Olwel are some of the prominent ones in the telemedicine space. Shohoz Health will have to compete directly with some of these companies.

Being a multiservices platform, Shohoz enjoys the advantage of already having a sizable user base of its app, which is likely to give it a head start when it comes to attracting users for its healthcare services. It is exciting to see that rush of innovation amid the pandemic from startups trying to navigate the fallout. Whether any of these initiatives fly, that’s something we will have to come back later to check. 

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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