Sexperto.co aims to provide Latin America’s youth with expert answers to their questions related to sexual health
Sexperto.co is a webpage committed to provide high quality, anonymous, and simple information on reproductive health to Latin America’s youth. While it’s clear that kids understand human reproduction and basic anatomy, we found significant prejudices towards contraceptive use and clear gaps in subtler concepts like gender roles, machismo, partner consent, and reproductive rights. Developed in partnership by a health-tech startup and a leading hospital in Colombia we are committed to provide the right information in a way that teenagers feel comfortable accessing it.
After a six-month pilot sponsored by the Health Secretary of Bogota that cost a little less than $23.000USD, Sexperto.co yielded over 194.000 page views (88.5% of which came from teens and young adults) making clear that it was highly accepted by the target group, cost efficient, and was worth scaling. During this phase, it also became clear that many of the questions warranted further follow up which is why we had the imperative to channel users to individualized services. Since 2018, Sexperto.co directly links users to a variety of city services depending on specific risky situations. Currently, a user can be directed towards an abuse hotline, a mental health hotline, the local “911” and perhaps most importantly, directly towards primary care. Teens and young adults can now book medical appointments online directly from Sexperto.co and subsequently receive the birth control method of their choosing—all free of cost—in a clinic based on their health insurance scheme. To date, a little over a year after its start, Sexperto.co has received almost 800.000 inquires and has scheduled over 500 reproductive health appointments.
In the last two years, Bogota, an 8 million habitants city, has seen the sharpest decline (12.9%) in teen births in the last three decades. While this is the result of various initiatives, even the Major of Bogota publicly recognized Sexperto.co as one of the main tools to attack this problematic (Twitter @EnriquePenalosa on 10/11/17 and 04/01/18). Based on in this experience, we are firmly convinced that this type of models can change the world due to the fact that it bridges the gap between public health efforts—often characterized as wide coverage with low possibility of addressing specific risk factors—and individual care—high impact but general reactive instead of preventive—based on precise and timely risk-factor identification and management. This model can be applied to any health condition—especially those associated with chronic disease. Now, we want to take Sexperto.co to all Spanish speaking communities and broaden our impact by creating the same concept for Mental Health and Drug Consumption.
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia
The dimensions of the Challenge our solution addresses:
If you selected other, please explain the dimension of the Challenge your solution addresses here:
Access to healthcare
What makes our solution innovative:
Although our solution is built on existing technologies, the innovation resides in the way we approach the challenge. The simple, yet very difficult key factor to achieve, is our capability to bring together technology, innovative ways of approaching problems, expertise in healthcare, and key actors that help us scale. We’re digitizing access to healthcare and making it reachable to people who has historically been neglected and underserved. We are leveraging the increasing adoption of internet in Colombia and other developing countries to empower people live healthier lives
Our solution goals over the next 12 months:
We want to reach over 500.000 teenagers from different regions of Colombia. Also, we are already working on building a similar platform for Mental Health and Drug Prevention which should be ready in the next 6 months; developing the content is the most challenging part.
Our vision over the next three to five years to grow and scale our solution to affect the lives of more people:
I see Sexperto as the leading platform for Sexual Education in Latin America and successfully operating in at least 10 countries. Also, I see an imperative need from all the healthcare systems around the world for innovative approaches to bring healthcare closer to people and connecting at-risk people with primary care. In that sense, I see Sexperto positioning in Latin America as the perfect ally for Private and State Institutions interested in channeling Public Health initiatives into concrete preventive actions.
Our promotional video:
The key characteristics of the populations who will benefit from our solution in the next 12 months:
The regions where we will be operating in the next 12 months:
How many people we are currently serving with our solution:
To date, Sexperto.co has answered an average of four questions for each one of its 189,000 individual users which largely (92.4%) fall in the teen and young adult category. The majority of users are from Colombia (96.0%), United States (.07%) and Mexico (.06%). By in large, users are from Bogotá. Sexperto.co does no target a specified socio economic segment but rather aims to reach all teens and young adults through technology, so as to provide immediate, confidential and science based answers
How many people we will be serving with our solution in the 12 months and the next 3 years:
We expect to reach at least 500.000 people and we want to reach teenagers people form different regions from Colombia including rural areas. They key partners to achieve this goals are local governments and insurance companies interested in advertising and channeling primary care to their insurees through Sexperto. We have already received interest from 4 insurances companies and 2 local governments.
How our solution team is organized:
Hybrid of For Profit and Nonprofit
How many people work on our solution team:
How many years we have been working on our solution:
The skills our solution team has that will enable us to attract the different resources needed to succeed and make an impact:
Sexperto.co is a partnership between Dondoctor, a healthtech startup, and Fundacion Santa Fe Bogota, a leading hospital in Colombia. Dondoctor has contributed with the idea, technology knowledge and development, innovation and project coordination, while FSFB has contributed its medical expertise, answer to the questions, and public recognition as a guarantee of quality. This strong alliance convinced the Health Secretary of Bogota to sponsor the project, provide access to its network, and efficiently advertise the platform with Bogota’s youth. The most important skills of this team are innovation, team work, and an interdisciplinary approach including public health professionals, doctors, technologists, and innovators that want to challenge the status quo.
Our revenue model:
Sexperto.co is sold as a service to any Institution, private or public, interested in publicly offer it as added value to their population of interest. Target customers are Health Secretaries of Cities, Departments and Countries, and on the other hand private institutions like Insurance Companies or Corporations interested in providing additional benefits. Also, there are other upside opportunities like online booking directly from Sexperto.co with providers, and eventually, some kind of advertising with initiatives that are aligned to our mission.
Why we are applying to Solve:
We understand the importance and value of connecting with like-minded Change Makers who are already solving the most pressing problems of the world. Also, we want to interact, discuss and receive feedback from the brightest minds that we are sure surround the MIT Community and get support in building the strategic vision that will allow us to scale faster. Finally, joining the Solve MIT Community would provide us credibility very much needed in countries and industries where the norm is to close doors to innovators and change makers.
The key barriers for our solution:
I believe we face two main challenges. The first one, is the lack of support and trust in the work done by young entrepreneurs in developing countries. Access to mentors, funding and network are hard to achieve and therefore the fact that a prestigious international organization like Solve MIT recognizes and supports our works gives us credibility. Secondly, we still need to refine our revenue model to make it scalable, financially viable, and aligned with our social mission. We strongly believe we can find this support and guidance at Solve MIT.
The types of connections and partnerships we would be most interested in if we became Solvers: