Building Africa’s first digital women’s health clinic

Lack of access to much-needed health services for women motivated Schermer and her co-founder to find a solution that focused on women. While there was a lot of innovation in the medical space, there was no one focusing on one key customer – women. With a global shift to ‘telemedicine’ and ‘digital health’, Covid-19 provided the necessary momentum for providing more remote health support and Zoie Health was founded by women for women in 2020.

While 90% of all healthcare decisions are made by women, there are no bespoke health solutions targeting them. Women’s healthcare services are either expensive (private sector) or of poor quality (public sector) and in many cases are fragmented and inefficient. Patients must consult different care providers; care providers work independently and don’t share information and digital innovation when it comes to women’s healthcare has largely stalled. Most women juggle numerous roles and, as a result, their own health and wellness needs often fall by the wayside. As work and personal pressures mount, taking the time to book an appointment, drive to a doctor or clinic and wait for a late appointment, all while worrying about a million other tasks, means women do not give themselves the time nor permission to address their own health needs proactively.

A holistic portal that includes vital support for family planning, fertility, maternity and beyond

Building Africa’s first digital women’s health clinic​

The team conducted detailed desktop research from the likes of WHO, World Bank, Frost & Sullivan and Gartner as well as conducted more than 200 surveys with women. They conducted 30 face-to-face interviews with their target audience and ran a 2-week test pilot with 25 patients to get feedback and insights. The team wanted to make everything accessible online, from virtual consultations to requesting medication. Their goal was to make the entire process seamless, from finding a provider to getting medication delivered to your home. By making everything tech-based, they were able to simplify, integrate and streamline access to healthcare services.

The Zoie Health platform launched in 2022 followed by their mobile App. Zoie Health takes an integrated, holistic view of women’s health and wellness, based around a community of women who support each other through the key stages of life. Zoie addresses every health episode in a woman’s life, from puberty to pregnancy, all the way through to menopause and functions as a one-stop service for almost every aspect of women’s health and wellness. Users can go online to get support around fertility issues, ask for advice about breastfeeding, organize a baby wellness check in the comfort of their own home, ask other mothers how they are dealing with specific challenges and find out about post-pregnancy fitness. The services available on the online platform include virtual consultations with medical providers, group consultations and community forums where users can interact with each other or get advice from health experts.

To provide expert assistance and informative content, they partnered with a team of independent specialists, from doulas to lactation consultants. The advantage of this innovative model is that it also empowers their service providers by giving them a platform to provide a faster and better service to clients who are increasingly looking for online solutions. The Zoie App gives women access to all their services for free.


Zoie Health is your all-in-one women’s health digital clinic. Join a circle, consult with a qualified clinician, find the right contraception – all in one

Serving the women of Africa by offering them access to the best in healthcare and beyond.


Thato Schermer, H’22 has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Marketing from the University of Cape Town. In 2021, Schermer was recognised by Inspiring 50 and one of the Top 50 Women in South Africa and a Top 200 South African by the Mail & Guardian.


Schermer believes that as a Harambean she will be pushed and challenged to grow and become world class. She will also share her learnings with the broader Alliance and pass on the opportunities she’s been given.

“The Harambean Alliance is world class, which is what we aspire to be.”


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