Pamela Bugayong-Donato of AIDE Shares the Advantage of Being a Woman in Tech

I had a COVID-19 scare last month. It was not just a scare, it felt more like terror. What made the experience terrifying was that I live alone and I couldn’t drive to a health center to get myself tested. I was so, so tired. I didn’t know what to do.

Our chief operating officer (COO), Sky Gavin, recommended the AIDE app. They offer a home testing service for COVID-19 that you can book using your phone. I inquired one evening before passing out. A representative had sent me a message but I was only able to respond the following morning at 9AM. I was so surprised when they booked me at 10:30AM. The doctor even arrived early, even if he drove from Quezon City to my house in the south. Thankfully, I tested negative.

I’m happy that an app like AIDE exists. With it, you can book COVID-19 tests (among other medical tests that will be done at home), doctor visits, vaccinations, chat and video consultations, physical therapy, nursing care, and medicine delivery.

This Women’s Month, we want to shine a spotlight on Pamela Bugayong-Donato, the COO and one of the co-founders of this awesome app. She founded AIDE with her brothers Paolo (the chief executive officer) and Dr. Patrick (the chief product officer).

According to Pamela, the business came about when they were discussing the healthcare of their grandmother. She said, “We were facing a lot of difficulties in providing my lola with the proper medical care. We were having problems finding a caregiver or nurse and traveling to and from the hospital for her regular checkups and lab tests. Because of this, the idea was born.”

For her, being a woman in tech was not a challenge. In fact, she says that women in tech today are empowered.

She shared, “We bring a unique perspective and experience, especially to product development. Since women in general lead the household, we know what our family needs, in terms of health, grocery shopping, education, and others. I used my experience as a mother of two and with aging parents to develop a mobile app that will redefine the way healthcare is delivered in the country.”

Pamela also has tips for women wanting to be entrepreneurs. She said, “Starting a business is not easy. However, if you have a solid idea and you are solving something meaningful, plus [you have] a strong support system, then you will be a successful entrepreneur. One important tip is to make sure to find a mentor. Someone more experienced, more talented than you are in areas that you don’t have a strong skill set, and can connect you to people.”

She added, “I have a lot of mentors, and they are a mix of [men] and [women]. Another tip is to be ready to fail but make sure to rise and learn from every mistake. Keep pursuing your passion. Believe in yourself, in your own abilities, regardless of who supports or believes in you.”

AIDE has become an even more relevant app as the world grapples with a pandemic. What started out as a few bookings on the app expanded to “tens of thousands of requests a month.”

Pamela envisions AIDE  to be at the forefront of not only the health tech revolution but the reemergence of primary care in the next 10 years. The team’s dream is to make AIDE the “super health app” in the Philippines. There are dreams to expand the care all around the country. This also has another benefit: providing work for medical professionals.

In the near future, AIDE will be launching a new, improved, and more personalized video consultation service. It is expected to go live this year.

AIDE

Website: https://www.aide-app.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aideapp

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aideapp/

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