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Contxto – One might refer to the Rappi delivery app for a pizza run or to pick something up at grandma’s, though usually healthcare isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But the contender for superapp status in Latin America is once again making a move.
News recently broke that the startup launched “Rappi Care” in Mexico. This new line of services includes telehealth consulting and users can even request a Covid-19 test straight to their door.
Food delivery, payments, events, video games, groceries, and now we can add healthcare to this ever-growing list.
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Rappi Care in Mexico
In partnership with Previta Labs, people can use the Rappi app to request that a clinical technician make a house call to administer the Covid-19 test or the corresponding antibody test.
So rest assured, the courier who brings you takeout won’t be taking the sample.
Rappi states that these exams can be requested up to 14 hours in advance. Moreover, in case of an emergency, users can request a doctor pay a house call.
The appointed physician should arrive within two hours. Or if it’s not that urgent they can just book an appointment for the doc to drop in.
But it’s worth noting that these offerings are likely only available in Mexico City and within the surrounding vicinity as those are the only areas in which Previta operates.
Furthermore, I don’t live in the capital and tried to access these services but couldn’t find them on the Rappi app.
Get primed for Rappi Prime?
Much like Amazon Prime, Rappi Prime lets users get away with free deliveries but only for orders starting at MXN$139 (~US$7). And with Rappi Care, the startup wants to rally more users onto its subscription service.
Accordingly, subscribers get unlimited access to telehealth consulting services and they even have the right to a general practicioner making a housecall once a year.
The question is, are users primed to view Rappi as something more than a delivery service to handle something as delicate as our personal health? Looking at startup Grab’s case in Asia we can draw a few conclusions on the matter.
Grab and telehealth
Southeast Asian Grab is one of the region’s companies oft-referred to as a “superapp.” It launched remote healthcare services in 2018 in China. And it reported that consultation requests from overseas Chinese hit almost 10 million from January to March of this year just as Covid-19 was spreading into the world.
Evidently users were eager to hop onto telemedicine platforms in light of all the uncertainty. However I don’t expect such an enormous level of response in Mexico with Rappi Care’s telemedicine services.
Self-isolation measures have begun to relax in the country. Consequently, I’m one to believe the best moment for telehealth has already passed. Users will still flock to it… but not as much as it could’ve been if Rappi Care had been launched just as the pandemic was hitting.
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