When Pilot launched a little over a year ago, the state of men’s health in Australia was less than ideal. The company had one simple goal: to use the internet as a tool that can connect men with local doctors and pharmacies that deliver, to get treatment for common men’s health issues (notably erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, bad sleep, and hair loss).
As far as healthcare in Australia was concerned, the internet had, up until that point, been more of a place where blokes could find hordes of misinformation, or buy dodgy pills from India (and illegally)—the very notion that real GPs were doing online consultations was still a foreign concept to most.
Then COVID-19 struck.
“We couldn’t have seen it coming, but it was pretty clear that people were much more receptive to online healthcare once the world was forced indoors”, says Tim Doyle, CEO and founder of Eucalyptus, the company behind Pilot’s telehealth efforts.
“Telehealth services have been a huge part of healthcare systems overseas for years. In the UK and the US, using the internet to get top medical advice and treatment is commonplace”, he continues.
Pilot’s servers went into overdrive, and now has well over 30,000 men using its platform to get safe and easy access to things like viagra, melatonin, prescriptions for premature ejaculation, as well as finasteride and minoxidil: two proven powerhouses when it comes to retaining (and regrowing) hair.
And their reviews tell a story of blokes who are, above all else, relieved that they have a place that’s genuinely got their back.
“This is amazing! I can’t believe how easy it was and it works!!”
“This is amazing! I can’t believe how easy it was and it works!!”, reads one. “The process was so simple and I received my medication within days”, lauds another.
Others are more revealing, and their contents are very telling. “…This has helped my self esteem and made my wife very satisfied” is just one example of the men who are going online to publicly thank Pilot for helping their relationships—an obvious yet perhaps less immediate by-product of being able to perform in the bedroom.
“Something we realised early on is that erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation aren’t just men’s health issues, they’re more complex than that”, says Doyle.
“Guys aren’t coming to us so they can have better sex on their own. It’s about wanting to be a good partner, and creating a situation where sex is a two-way street for couples.
“Some say they were too embarrassed before finding Pilot, but plenty of others just weren’t aware that help was even available. It’s been really encouraging to see how receptive Australian men are to getting these sorts of conditions sorted quickly and confidentially.”
Pilot’s premise is simple: you jump online and fill out a questionnaire that’s related to your chosen condition (at this stage they offer treatments for erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, hair loss, bad sleep, and skin), and pay $20.
A doctor, armed with your survey results, then contacts you via web based chat to ask a few more questions. If eligible, you can get approved for prescription medication that Pilot then ships directly from a partner pharmacy via Express Post (with free delivery to boot).
What’s more, you can keep the lines of communication open with your doctor and ask anything if needed. They’ll automatically keep your medication coming before you run out, and you can cancel whenever you like.
“We wanted to keep things simple”, says Doyle. “There’s no use complicating what has been a confusing system for so long. With telehealth taking over as a normal way of doing things everywhere else, we wanted it to have a soft landing in Australia.”
The uncertainties of COVID-19 may have triggered a necessary change in how people view online healthcare. But the ongoing effect in a post-COVID world is that people are inevitably going to have better access to the medical support they need—be it advice, prescriptions, medication, or ongoing care.
Pilot’s unique positioning in the market makes them perfectly suited to becoming a holistic men’s health platform. One that goes beyond simply eliminating the awkward chat and lame waiting room experience, and offers Australian men something they’ve needed for a very long time: better ways to manage their own bodies.
As for what’s next?
“We’re looking at how we can make our mental health offering more robust, as well as the digital therapeutics space”, says Doyle.
“It’s great that men are coming to us and getting prescriptions for things they’d otherwise ignore. Next we want to offer long-term solutions as well.”