SberHealth medical service, part of Russia’s Sberbank ecosystem, has carried out a survey among the telemedicine users, which showed that more than 30% of pet owners prefer consulting vet physicians remotely. The most common reason is the stress that pets experience while on the way to and in the clinic.
From January to July 2020, interest in online assistance grew by 42%. The number of online requests related to gastroenterology increased most likely due to the lockdown when owners could – intentionally or unintentionally – break the eating habits of their pets by feeding them table scraps. The number of dermatological consultations increased as well, which is also mostly due to giving up eating habits. Pets can react actively to drastic changes in their diet that cause skin and coat worsening, dermatitis, food allergy, and intolerance.
Talking about non-vet consultations, one can not ignore the fact that more people are asking questions on taking care of a pet before bringing it to their home. Even when planning to buy a pet, young families and responsible parents who want to give their children a pet, consult specialists to learn about feeding, development, disease prevention, and other things which show higher responsibility and signify a responsible pet owning trend.
The same conclusion confirms the increase in the number of inquiries to read the test results and explain the prescribed therapy. The owners are interested in how it will work, besides what needs to be done. People want to understand their pets’ diseases and the prescribed treatment to avoid missing anything critical. A small part of questions is submitted about the health of rodents and hares, as well as exotic animal species, in particular, bearded dragons and leopard geckos. Quite often, people ask questions about the specifics of taking care of chinchillas, degus, and gerbils.
SberHealth has used the DocDoc service in operation since 2012. In 2017, the service joined Sberbank Group and started its transformation into a medical platform featuring the most popular medical services, such as making an appointment with a doctor, telemedicine (online consultations), calling for a doctor, making an appointment for diagnostics, a comprehensive examination, VHI programs, animal health, distance monitoring of patients with chronic diseases, medical devices. Currently, SberHealth has over 4K private clinics as members and an aggregate of over 7.5 mio patients.