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New Discovery Health apps frustrating, say users

Several innovative new services were recently launched by Discovery app, enabling 24/7 virtual consultations with doctors, and medication delivery, as well as immediate help in an emergency – but customers say that the company’s already existing apps were problematic.

The latest offerings include “Speak to a Doctor Now”, “Virtual Physical Therapy” and “Digital Therapeutics for Mental Health”, reports News24.

Discovery Health CEO Ryan Noach said the three new features were South African-firsts in digital healthcare innovations.

With the “Speak to a doctor now” feature, customers can talk to a doctor at any time, and can also get immediate help in an emergency, geolocated to their current position.

Noach said immediate, on-demand access to healthcare professionals was critical, especially in the case of sick children after hours. Data show a spike in ER visits between 4pm and 11pm for minor issues, he added.

For access to an urgent doctor consultation, Discovery has partnered with emergency room staff from ER Consulting (ERC), via their call centre, so their doctors are always available for virtual consultations through the app.

When needed, the doctors could also refer patients for face-to-face consultations or emergency care, and dispatch an ambulance to the user’s location.

Additional support

Through Discovery’s partnership with Genie Health, the app also offers support for musculo-skeletal rehabilitation, and via computer vision and artificial intelligence, helps users perform rehabilitation exercises correctly, and access remote monitoring and coaching for better recovery outcomes.

And with the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) app, customers can assess their mental well-being and access personalised treatment for depression.


However, many members have been frustrated by the existing Discovery app ecosystem reporting constant bugs, frequent freezing, and having to load vouchers for rewards.

Customers have said the app requires frequent updates, which disrupts the user experience, and often redirects them to the website, forcing them to start over by logging in and navigating a less intuitive platform.


News24 article – Discovery Health unveils new health app – giving access to doctors 24/7 –amid user dissatisfaction (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Capping medical aid hikes won’t solve healthcare woes


‘No way to fund the NHI’ – Discovery CEO


Telemedicine: The end of the physical examination can mean losing touch


SAMA unhappy over medical schemes’ low virtual consultation rates

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