Entrepreneur

Erectile Dysfunction To Hair Loss: This S'pore Startup Offers Online Health Check-Ups For Men

An erectile dysfunction (ED) scare left Sean Low extremely shocked and confused, and he did what anyone else would do — consult Google.

He told Vulcan Post that he became so convinced he had ED that he began searching for treatment options and clinics.

It was only after he mustered up the courage to speak to a doctor friend did he find out that he in fact, did not have ED.

His experience made him realise that there was a general lack of understanding and conversation around common male health issues, and that there was a need for a more “discreet, affordable and convenient alternative to getting treatment for highly sensitive conditions.”

This prompted him to start Noah — a discreet digital clinic for men — with his co-founder Ethel Tan.

Eliminating The Embarrassment

Image Credit: Noah

Healthcare is a continuously growing industry, and men’s health is a huge part of it too. 

Currently, Noah’s services can be narrowed down specifically to ED, premature ejaculation and hair loss. The founders believe that although these conditions are prevalent, they are often overlooked.

“We want to help men overcome these ailments in a safe, non-judgemental space,” said Sean.

According to him, the “number one issue” among men around the world is embarrassment.

Having to answer tough personal questions about one’s body, health and sexual organs can put them in a weird spot — even when the conversation is with a doctor.

Therefore, they wanted Noah to create a comprehensive assessment modelled after what a doctor would ask in a face-to-face consultation, and position it as an online medical evaluation.

A doctor will then contact the patient to follow up on their assessment. By then, the tough questions would have already been answered, making for a more comfortable interaction.

If a prescription is needed, Noah will also deliver a patient’s medication to them within four hours for free.

Ethel added on that the medication arrives in a “nondescript package”, and even the billing is discreet.

“There will never be a listed billing for medication on patients’ credit card bills,” said Ethel.

Patients also get free follow-ups with Noah’s doctors to fine-tune their treatment plans.

Keeping The Doctor Away

noah discreet digital clinic for men
Image Credit: Noah

Both Sean and Ethel are deeply passionate about healthcare.

When Noah first started, the two founders personally delivered the prescriptions to patients’ homes.

Their hands-on involvement led them to “rush between meetings to get the medications delivered within the stated four-hour delivery time frame.”

Even though the startup has now hired vendors, Sean shared that Noah’s team of eight staff are all extremely committed to their patients, and share the same passion for health.

Health has always been at the forefront of what I do. That’s what spurred me to take on the role as a part-time spin instructor, in hopes of encouraging others to lead healthier, better lives.

But health is more than just about exercise and staying active. To me, it encapsulates our overall well-being, from mental to physical, and at times sexual health too. 

Ethel Tan, Co-founder of Noah, in an interview with Vulcan Post

The same goes for Sean. Noticing the shift in healthcare from in-person to online — especially in the time of a pandemic — is what gave him the push to start Noah.

Prior to Noah, he had the opportunity to be a part of Bare, an Australian end-of-life service tech startup based in Melbourne.

The startup was founded during the circuit breaker in May this year, and went from idea to launch in just six weeks.

When it first started, they solely focused on ED before growing to include other prevalent yet highly sensitive conditions.

We are not looking to supplement existing service models. There will always be people who prefer face-to-face consultations, and that’s where physical clinics come in.

With Noah, our role in healthcare for the nation is different. We realised there’s a need to create a discourse around these common men’s health issues, and own the conversation around it. 

Sean Low, Co-founder of Noah, in an interview with Vulcan Post

The duo have also created Ordinary Folk, an initiative to address the lack of understanding on not just healthcare but other taboo topics.

Ethel shared that it started off as a passion project, but has now grown to include an instazine and podcast.

Furthermore, in just two months, the business grew threefold, and its growth is steadily rising at a rate of 50 per cent month-on-month.

One of the considerations for success would be the reviews from our patients, it’s a testament of our hard work.

We started off with a mission to deliver an alternative method to getting treatment for these highly sensitive conditions, and I think we’ve proven to have increased accessibility for Singaporean men. 

Sean Low, Co-founder of Noah, in an interview with Vulcan Post

Noah has also managed to raise a “sufficient amount” in a pre-seed round, that has “helped to scale the business to the next milestone”.

Currently, Noah has over 6,000 users on the platform.

Killing The Social Stigma

hair loss
Image Credit: The Quarterly

According to Ethel, the goal of the startup is to be a “mainstay in the lives of Singaporeans”, and they hope to scale their offerings to include more conditions to help as many people as possible.

Sean added on that “it is a known secret that Asian men do not usually talk about their own health.”

Hence, the duo wants to do more to address these behaviours in the Asian community.

From there, they can continue to provide good value and services, while also changing the stigma towards highly sensitive conditions.

The startup’s ultimate aim is to eventually be the assured health partner that supports patients through treatments for conditions that are often pegged with social stigma

“We hope Noah can be a household name, a safe haven almost, for men to come and seek treatment,” said Ethel.

Featured Image Credit: Noah

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