Gerocare, unlike many other startups, has chosen to shift focus to the smallest set in the demography of Nigeria and other African countries — the elderly. For Nigeria, 2018 estimates indicate that the elderly (55 years and above) make-up 7.30% of the country’s population.
While this might be a small chunk of the very large Nigerian market, they appear to be a neglected bunch. And understandably so, as they mostly fall into the ‘laggard’ section when adopter categories are considered.
Even with Gerocare, the onus is placed on much younger crop of people to subscribe to the service for the benefits of their older parents, uncles, loved ones and other relatives.
This works because, culturally, Nigeria places a responsibility on children or grandchildren to care for their parents or grandparents as the case may be. The culture does not show any sign of dwindling in beliefs.
What exactly does Gerocare want to achieve?
This health-tech startup wants to reduce the number of deaths and effectively manage the state of deteriorating health conditions amongst the elderly. This they do by making the younger ones subscribe to a plan for them.
Gerocare, through a subscription, provides regular physician home visits for the elderly to prevent a decline in their health condition, maintain a healthy state, and improve quality of life.
They also provide other non-medical services like post-stroke rehabilitation services, personal health monitoring devices, home caregivers and nursing services plus ambulance services, if needed.
Take them as the full package when it comes to giving care to your elderly ones. All to be completed via a mobile app.
Across the various monthly subscriptions on Gerocare, which are quite pocket-friendly, subscribers get access to doctor visits, doctor chats, monthly reports, doctor calls and more.
Receiving monthly reports about the health of an elderly loved one helps put your mind at rest or enables you to take necessary steps, depending on what the report tells.
Generally, Gerocare takes the burden of frequent hospital visits by bringing it to the doorstep of elderly people (who generally might be too weak or irritated to do frequent hospital trips).
If you have elderly parents or guardians you’d love to sign up to the Gerocare platform, the onboarding process is quite easy and straightforward. Simply create an account and subscribe to any plans that fit your needs.
Gerocare currently offers two plans based on the number of parents you need the company to care for. There’s a Single Visit plan for one parent and Double Visit for two(2) parents — residing in the same address.
Both plans are monthly subscriptions and as earlier mentioned, are quite pocket-friendly.
How Are They Faring?
Over 750 doctors are currently signed on to the Gerocare platform. This number is very important as it defines their distribution which is a critical factor in expansion and growth.
The platform partners with doctors who want to be self-employed or just want to earn extra income.
With a mobile phone, interested doctors can conveniently run their own medical services business while Gerocare provides them with a ready pool of patients. Gerocare doctors are connected with elderly patients within their vicinity to provide them with home visits.
Gerocare currently covers over 45 cities, has over 800 pharmacies/labs and 3 regional offices. As far as distribution goes, they have done really well.
Data from Crunchbase shows that Gerocare is backed by different investors including Itanna Accelerator and Ventures Platform, and has raised up to $50,000 in seed funding since 2017.
Also, the Nigerian market isn’t exactly health-tech-friendly. A 2017 report by TechCabal shows that FinTech startups pulled about 6 times more funding than their Health-tech counterparts. This highlights the (poor) level of interest this sector generates, particularly from investors.
Nevertheless, it is fulfilling to see these solutions spring up. Even more fulfilling is to know that the target for the various companies and solutions are spread out and not restricted to one segment of customers.
As it stands, Gerocare can do more to make its solution mainstream and visible to more people to adopt.