Silvia Juárez of Monitor Nutritional tells us about how they link nutritionists and doctors with patients.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Silvia Juárez: Fortunately, all the team members have been fine. All are healthy and continue working from their homes. We are trying to ensure that all activities continue performing as always during this time, and we are improving our communication skills.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Monitor Nutricional.
Silvia Juárez: Fabián Hernández and I are Monitor Nutricional founder ‘s. Since we started our professional career in the research and development of medical equipment, specifically in the Life Support area, we participated in the first Mexican Ventricular Assistance Device (VAD) development.
For more than 12 years, we participated in the design, development, and testing of hardware and software of device development. In our last years, we also participated in clinical trials (animal studies in Texas Heart Institute and human studies in Mexico City and Monterrey) testing efficiency and safety. During this stage, we noticed that the patients that need this kind of device have low chances of survival, including their poor quality of life, because of the features of the device (it needs to be connected all the time to resources like air or electrical energy) and the invasive surgery needed to implant the device.
Also, México is a country with a huge problem of diseases caused by obesity. For these reasons, the founders thought that all efforts and knowledge should be focused on creating a device that allows people to have a healthy life and thus not using a device of life support. So, in 2014 we created Monitor Nutricional, as the first idea was to create a mobile app that helps people stick to the treatment plan that doctors prescribed. However, it will not be enough after we created a software tool for doctors in order to improve their medical consultation by being more efficient and with patient monitoring. Now the Mobile App and the Doctor Software are connected.
Nowadays, we offer doctors advertising in order to have more patients. Monitor Nutricional has more than 600 Kz downloads in app stores.
How does Monitor Nutricional innovate?
Silvia Juárez: Mexico is a country with a delay regarding online business; actually, many people do not trust in do transactions if they do not see the place or people who sell a product or service. Furthermore, the sellers also have no idea how to do online business.
Our main innovation during this quarantine is helping and teaching patients and doctors to do business. We are focused on doctors, first teaching them how to be visible for all possible customers (patients), then how to use the new tools to have efficient and effective consulting. Finally, the most important is how to charge for their services using online paid.
And for both (patients and doctors) trust among them.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Silvia Juárez: Our app has been a very good tool for nutritionists and doctors to connect with its patients outside the doctors’ office before the COVID. But with this situation, online health was a priority.
In México, the quarantine started in March 2020. There has been a period, about two months, of uncertainty. Because, was the first time that all public spaces were closed, including the doctor’s office. Then some of our customers decided to cancel their subscription.
So, we decided to take advantage of the quarantine situation, and we started to promote and advertise online consultation of all members of our medical directory. Also, we include more benefits for doctors and patients, including new features in software and increasing advertising. As a result of these actions, now we keep the customers, and even in some months, we got more customers.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Silvia Juárez: We think the most important lesson that we learn is to get out of the traditional way, and move as the situation or even the market is moving, and the importance of moving as fast as possible. Never lose your achievements, and work so hard to reach your goal.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Silvia Juárez: The new tools are so accessible and easy to use. Our team uses tools like WhatsApp, Zoom, Mail, or any tool that helps with communication. For doctors and nutritionists, our app becomes a fundamental tool to continue consulting patients.
For management, we use agile development methodologies to create adaptive and fast solutions.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Silvia Juárez: At the beginnings of Monitor Nutricional had many deficiencies. Nowadays, it has improved a lot, and even our competitors copy our new features to offer online consulting for doctors and nutritionists.
We are so proud of the customer service that we have implemented because we are so close to our customers, reviewing all their demands and analyzing which one could be the best solution, considering the customer needs and our business. We want to be the best allied for our customers, doctors, and nutritionists, to improve their online and offline advice.
Your final thoughts?
Silvia Juárez: This pandemic has catapulted the online nutrition consultations that have been growing timidly in recent years. Millions of people learned to buy, learn, relate to, and consult a doctor online, so the medical market will not be the same again.
Stop depending on a physical place to have a consultation reduces costs. It has great advantages that will continue to be used in the future in a new consultation model, online, offline, and combined. Businesses that continue to evolve will survive.
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