Stopping the stigma: Digital health platform helps men become their best selves

Every guy could become a better version of himself. That’s the mantra at UPGUYS, a full-service digital platform dedicated to men’s health, with a focus on hair loss and erectile dysfunction (ED), conditions that are often stigmatized.

That’s why co-founder and chief strategy officer, Ramin Behzadi says UPGUYS is designed with discretion and respect in mind.

“There is often a lot of discomfort for men when they begin their search for help, but during the process our medical practitioners, pharmacists, and care team have easy yet professional conversations with people, and they open up when we establish that trust.”

The process is simple: pick a product from the website, fill out a questionnaire, a Canadian medical practitioner calls you for a consultation, and if the medication is a good fit, it’s delivered from the pharmacy to your door. And the delivery is discreet, wrapped in a small non-descript package the size of a DVD case.

It’s a process that’s mainstream today, but prior to the pandemic, digital health was far from the norm. In fact, co-founder, CEO, and licensed pharmacist Mat Rezaei began working on a digital pharmacy platform in 2017 and after two years working with provincial and federal regulators, he created Canada’s first digital pharmacy. Enter co-founder Behzadi, and UPGUYS launched in February of 2020, just before COVID-19 would dramatically change our way of life. Coincidentally, the platform was in place at just the right time.

“It created this opportunity for digital health to become mainstream so physicians, customers, and regulators became comfortable with the practice,” says Behzadi.

UPGUYS phone

(Courtesy: UPGUYS)

The B.C.-based business grew nationally… and fast. By the end of last year, UPGUYS had onboarded tens of thousands of customers seeking solutions for tough-to-talk-about but common conditions.

In fact, about 50 per cent of Canadian men over the age of 40 experience ED, while nine million Canadians are affected by male-pattern hair loss.

“Sometimes we rationalize our lack of action by saying we are too busy, or too shy, or we don’t care,” says Rezaei, “but the reality is years and years of misleading information and miseducation have formed stigma around certain conditions, and that stigma is stopping us from moving forward.”

UPGUYS was formed to address this issue, and it’s working.

Along with discretion, respect, and treatment effectiveness, the founders believe customers are also coming back because there is no pressure to do so, as the digital health platform doesn’t use a subscription-based model.

Behzadi says it can be a one-off order and customers don’t pay for the service, consultation, or delivery, just the medication itself.

“We believe that if the treatment is effective, customers will be coming back on their own timing.”

For the co-founders, gratification is integral to what they do: helping people become a better version of themselves.

Rezaei says, “When a patient of mine tells me that they have gained their confidence back or saved their relationships, all because of a simple medical intervention, the feeling is priceless.”

As for what’s next at UPGUYS, helping women with a digital platform focusing on female sexual health, aptly named UPGIRLS.

This is a sponsored post.

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