Press release -
MyHealthTeam and Discovery Health partner to launch myCOVIDteam, a secure social network for people who have COVID-19 or Long COVID
SAN FRANCISCO – 01 March, 2022 --MyHealthTeam, creator of the largest and fastest-growing social networks for people facing chronic health conditions, today announced its partnership with South Africa’s largest private health insurance administrator, Discovery Health, to launch myCOVIDteam, a social network - also known as an online patient community - for people facing acute or long-haul symptoms of COVID-19 (known as ‘long COVID’).
MyHealthTeam’s patient communities are patient-led, online groups where patients, caregivers, doctors, researchers, and others come together with a focus on a particular disease. They share stories, offer support and information, and even develop solutions where needed.
“COVID-19 will have a wide-ranging impact on individuals and communities around the world for years to come,” said Eric Peacock, cofounder and CEO of MyHealthTeam.
“The myCOVIDteam network is key to empowering community members on multiple levels in this regard. Visitors to myCOVIDteam have access to medically reviewed information and trusted resources to help them to talk with their doctors more effectively and better manage their recovery.”
myCOVIDteam provides community members with access to:
- Foundational information about COVID-19 - risk factors, symptoms, treatment options and more
- Interviews with medical experts addressing various aspects of COVID-19 - including conversations with renowned specialists in cardiology, nephrology, pulmonology, neurology, and psychology
- Guidance for navigating daily life with the disease - including addressing physical, mental, social, and practical impacts
- Research insights and new information- including accessible summaries of studies from around the world that explain what people can expect and what they can do when facing COVID-19 and its long-term effects
- Member stories from the myCOVIDteam community - through which real people have a chance to share their personal experiences, providing validation and support to others within the community.
“Long COVID is an emerging illness causing distress for a surprisingly high percentage of previously healthy individuals, following a COVID-19 infection,” said Dr Ryan Noach, CEO of Discovery Health. “Our data demonstrates an unequivocal increase in healthcare burden in a cohort of previously COVID-positive members who are living with ongoing symptoms. This poses significant individual concern and discomfort, population health risk and a health economic challenge.”
“Throughout the pandemic we have supported members of schemes administered by Discovery Health with up-to-date and factual clinical information regarding COVID-19. We believe our partnership with MyHealthTeam to launch myCOVIDteam is an extension of this very important work. We consider it critical to facilitate interaction between affected patients through secure communities which encourage information sharing, learning and support.”
“A strong, medically-sound, social network is key in helping people navigate the challenges of long COVID, feel supported, less isolated, and truly informed about a disease which the world’s scientific community continues to learn about. We believe that myCOVIDteam will provide much needed empathy and practical know-how to people facing both acute and long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.”
- People in 13 countries – United States of America, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Finland - can now connect with others facing the challenges of COVID-19 illness at www.mycovidteam.com. Once signed up (at no cost), members can share their firsthand experience of the disease and connect with others facing similar symptoms or challenges in a secure, private environment.
Partnership extends to chronic illness patient communities
In addition to collaborating on the launch of myCOVIDteam, the partnership and MyHealthTeam and Discovery Health includes integration of Discovery Health as the exclusive sponsor of MyHeartDiseaseTeamand DiabetesTeam in South Africa, for a period of two years.
Discovery Health will soon open access to these online patient communities to its members, helping them take a proactive approach to managing their health while living with these common chronic conditions.
MyHealthTeambelieves that if you are diagnosed with a chronic condition, it should be easy to find and connect with others like you. MyHealthTeam creates social networks that provide support and information for people living with a chronic health condition. Millions of people have joined one of the company’s 42 highly engaged communities focusing on the following conditions: Alzheimer's, amyloidosis, asthma, autism, breast cancer, COPD, chronic pain, COVID-19, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, depression, diabetes (type 2), eczema, endometriosis, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, food allergies, heart disease, hemophilia, hidradenitis suppurativa, HIV, hyperhidrosis, irritable bowel syndrome, leukemia, lung cancer, lupus, lymphoma, migraines, multiple sclerosis, myeloma, myeloproliferative neoplasms, narcolepsy, obesity, osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, Parkinson's, PCOS, psoriasis, pulmonary hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal muscular atrophy, spondylitis, and vitiligo. MyHealthTeam social networks are available in 13 countries.
About Discovery Health
Discovery Health (DH) is South Africa's largest private health insurance administrator, providing comprehensive healthcare insurance to more than 3.7 million people in South Africa. Discovery, through its proprietary wellness programme, Vitality, partners with leading global insurers in Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and South America servicing more than 20 million clients globally, and enabling them to live healthier, longer lives. Due to its scale and prominence in the private healthcare environment Discovery Health has unparalleled access to a unique data set in South Africa encompassing full electronic health records, wellness data, and vaccination data for these insured lives. Discovery Group is the holding company of Vitality Group in the USA and of Vitality UK.
About Long Covid
According to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), some people experience a range of new or ongoing symptoms that can last weeks or months after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Unlike other types of post-COVID conditions that tend only to occur in people who have had severe illness, these symptoms can present in anyone who has had COVID-19, even if the illness was mild, or if they had no initial symptoms. A list of common post-acute symptoms can be found here.
A study published in medical journal The Lancet found that 68% of people still had at least one symptom six months after contracting COVID-19, and half did one year after. Additionally, nearly one-third of patients reported experiencing continuing pain and discomfort following their recovery from acute Covid.
About Discovery Ltd
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life insurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment, and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-value Insurance model, active in over 35 markets with over 20 million members. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets, including Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and South America.
In 2021, Vitality Health International (VHI) introduced shared-value health insurance to employer groups operating in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia, as well as Travel for Treatment service to the rest of Africa.
Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY. Discovery Group is the holding company of Vitality Group in the USA and of Vitality UK.