There are just certain times when going to the doctor is not possible. Thankfully, technology has delivered a solution – telemedicine. While it is true that the concept of telemedicine is not new and has been around for over 50 years, the 2019 version could be set to disrupt the traditional doctor/patient relationship.
In the past, many ailments went undiagnosed and untreated due to the patient feeling too embarrassed. The most common of these ailments include erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, sexually transmitted diseases, and male pattern baldness.
Since 2017, numerous “online doctor consultation” platforms specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of these afflictions. Through a thorough questioning of a patient’s medical history, describing the symptoms they suffer from and relevant photos, online doctors and nurses are able to accurately diagnose and prescribe a suitable treatment.
Today we will be taking a closer look at Keeps. Unlike the subjects of previous reviews, Keeps specialize and cover one area only – hair loss.
Launched in January 2018, Keeps is a subscription-based platform that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss. Perhaps the best way to understand what Keeps is all about is to think of them as a combination of an online doctor and pharmacy – your one-stop hair loss shop, where you can consult a doctor on the subject, find a treatment that suits your particular case and then have the treatment delivered to your door.
One of the first things you see on the keeps homepage is a bold statement – “Keeps is the easiest and most affordable way to keep your hair.” And at first glance, it seems as if the claim is justifiable.
All the patient needs do before an online doctor can provide them with a customized treatment plan a few questions and upload a few photos. If the doctor judges the patient to be suitable for treatment, they then supply them with a tailor-made treatment plan. This all takes place within a single day.
And thanks to a subscription formula Keeps employ, the patient’s subscription is automatically renewed every 3 months, ensuring that they will always have enough treatment. So, it seems that that Keeps certainly do offer an easy solution.
But, are they also affordable, as they state? They claim to be cheaper than the competition because they ship treatments quarterly, which allows patients to save between $70-$100 a year (obviously depending on which products are bought) compared to other subscription-style competitors providing the exact same treatments.
At this point, Keeps are living up to every part of that bold claim and seem to be “the easiest and most affordable way to keep your hair”.
Perhaps a step-by-step look at the online process can either add more weight or disprove their claim of being the easiest way to keep your hair. As we already mentioned in the previous section, the patient is first asked to complete a questionnaire and submit photos of their hair loss before consulting the doctor.
Since hair loss is a medical condition, Keeps believe it is only right that a qualified and licensed medical practitioner reviews their patient’s information and symptoms before making a diagnosis and providing a prescription.
The first consultation with the doctor is free, with every visit after that costing an additional $5. Of all the reviews we have done, this is by far the cheapest consultation fee, with the average costs on most other platforms being around $25.
After the consultation and receiving a treatment plan, the patient has their prescription filled by the inhouse pharmacy. This is a 3-step process.
For the first step, they are asked to choose a hair loss treatment plan, with 3 different treatment plans to choose from:
The patient chooses the plan most suitable to their case based on the advice of the doctor.
The second step is where the patient agrees to take out a 3-month subscription that will supply them with the needed treatment. The subscription renews automatically, ensuring they have a constant supply of medication.
In the third and final step, the patient is given the tools to track their hair growth and progress. They are also given the option to alter or cancel their plan.
4-6 weeks after the patient begins treatment, Keeps will contact them via a secure portal to make sure that everything is going smoothly and that there are no complaints. If there is an issue, their support team will help resolve the matter.
Keeps aims to offer their services to as many Americans as possible. However, this is not always possible as each state has different legal requirements and laws that must be met and obeyed. With hair loss falling under the banner of Health/Medication, lawmakers and watchdogs are particularly strict on any infringement of state rules.
While there is no explicit list of states anywhere on the website where you can see in which states Keeps operates, there is a link that takes you to a page where you can enter your state and find out if Keeps can operate in it.
There are 2 FDA-approved prescription medications that is used to treat male pattern balding - Finasteride and Minoxidil. Both of these medications are widely used, with the effects and side effects well understood. In the vast majority of cases, the doctors at Keeps will prescribe either one or a combination of the two.
A generic version of the branded drug Propecia®, Finasteride has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for male pattern baldness. Due to how long is has been on the market and how popular it has proven, there are countless clinical trials highlighting its efficacy and its side-effects.
Only available via prescription, it is most effective when taken on a daily basis. This treatment works by blocking the production and release of a hormone called DHT, known to cause male pattern baldness. Regular use of Finasteride has been clinically proven to prevent hairlines receding and boosting the regrowth of hair.
Keeps doctors may also prescribe Minoxidil, a generic version of is Rogaine®. Like Finasteride, which it may be prescribed in conjunction with, is an FDA approved treatment for hair loss that has been on the market for some time now. Keeps offers this treatment in 2 topical forms – as a solution with a dropper and as foam in an aerosol can (currently, Keeps is the only telemedicine provider offering the foam version).
For overall hair thinning, Keeps doctors often prescribe a combination of Finasteride and Minoxidil, to be taken daily to assist with reducing overall loss and stimulating the regrowth of hair.
Patients suffering from a receding hairline are usually given a prescription of 1mg tablets of Finasteride, to be taken daily as a treatment to slow down balding in the hairline, crown, and vertex.
Those who are experiencing hair loss at the crown of the head are commonly treated with Minoxidil (5%) as either a solution or foam.
This prescription shampoo is used to treat dry scalps and is often used in conjunction with the above-mentioned treatments (dry scalp is a common side-effect of Minoxidil).
As 2019 draws to an end, it is clear that the modern version of telemedicine is here to stay and may forever change the way patients interact with healthcare specialists. What sets Keeps apart from most of the players in this field is that they do one thing and they do it well. Perhaps the future of online healthcare lies in platforms like Keeps, with each specializing in a specific area.
As the online hair loss specialists who can also provide effective treatments that are prescribed by qualified healthcare professionals, at 50% of the average price, we have to recommend Keeps. “Keeps is the easiest and most affordable way to keep your hair.”
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