World’s First Male STD App – The Stigma With Men’s Sexual Health

Yudara is a consultant emergency physician by training and now, a full time CEO of HeHealth. It is a company that focuses on men’s health and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). The app is about helping men find out whether they have any visually recognizable STD’s just from a picture and they will receive the answers on their phones.  

“HeHealth is definitely way ahead of anything that we would ever have expected for men’s health,” says Yudara, CEO and Founder of HeHealth

How It All Started

Yudara’s friend is the main reason why he started the company. A few years ago, just before COVID, during Christmas, one of his friends called him in distress. He was crying and saying that he wants to commit suicide. Not wanting to lose his friend, Yudara quickly rushed to his friend’s house and asked him what happened. Initially he was hesitant to say anything but eventually he shared that he engaged in unprotected sex the day before and noticed something on his private area when he took a shower.  

Yudara’s friend said that he Google-ed about it and was informed by online sites that he has HIV. Yudara proceeded to inform his friend that he cannot get HIV within a span of 24 hours. To assure his friend, Yudara offered him an examination as a doctor. His friend agreed and during the examination, Yudara realized that the bump the friend had was completely normal and he was just freaking out about the incident 

His friend was later tested for sexually transmitted diseases and the test came out negative.  

“Can you believe it? He almost committed suicide purely because of misinformation,” says Yudara, CEO and Founder of Hehealth

After the incident, Yudara found himself speaking to his co-founder about how women have so many applications for almost everything, including for their health but men have no such thing. His co-founder agreed with him, and he realized it is because men are not willing to talk about it. Yudara noticed this gap and decided to create a software for men’s sexual health, based on artificial intelligence. 

How Being An Emergency Doctor Fuelled His Motivation To Develop HeHealth

Yudara worked as a physician in the emergency department full time whilst also teaching innovation and artificial intelligence. When COVID hit, Yudara was doing some projects that could have been useful during the pandemic. However, the healthcare industry was so overwhelmed that they simply could not prioritise new innovations. But Yudara, as an innovator, felt otherwise. He continued to pitch to universities and hospitals, but the answers he got were no. 

Hospitals would tell him that there was simply no time to consider such innovations in an emergency such as a pandemic. During the pandemic, he said he saw “a failed world” that could have been better but sadly people were unable to see a few steps ahead. Yudara further emphasized that he believed he had to be different and do better as a physician as he could see what others could not. Yudara used to say that he could save anybody and bring the dead back to life as a physician. However, that was only one person at a time.  

With technology, he believes that life-saving results can be replicated without barriers. So instead of being an emergency physician, he moved to technology as a full-time innovator to build HeHealth which can make a huge impact. There are a million new curable STD’s every single day yet hardly anybody talks about it. With HeHealth, many people can be cured of their STDs right away. 

The Most Difficult Thing He Encountered 

When innovators talk about something others have never heard of before, it is not easy to convince them. This is because sometimes, innovators and scientists develop products based on evidence. But when it came to HeHealth, there was no prior evidence to back it up as it is something completely new. 

“So how do you convince people that this is something that can be done?,” asks Yudara, CEO and Founder of HeHealth.  

To convince them, Yudara decided to come up with a small working model, but he was faced with another problem. To create the model, he would need to have lots of data. In his case, the data would come in the form of penis pictures also known as “dick pics”.  

“The world might be oversupplied with dick pics, but when it comes to science, it’s really difficult to get them because I still need to get the people’s consent,” says Yudara, CEO and Founder of Hehealth.  

There was no such data set available in the world, so Yudara took about 6 to 12 months just to build the initial data set with the help of his close friends who believed in him. His friends would help to collect the pictures and label them for the artificial intelligence (AI) to better process it. With their help, he was finally able to create a small working model and convinced his university colleagues about his invention.  

Sexual Health – The Stigma Among Men

“So do I think there’s a stigma? Answer is definitely yes, and it is more than just a stigma,” says Yudara, CEO and Founder of HeHealth

While working in the emergency department, Yudara came across a 60-year-old man who came with difficulty breathing. A junior doctor presented Yudara with an Xray of the man’s lungs and it looked like a COVID infection. But to be on the safer side, Yudara instructed the junior doctor to conduct a full body examination, even on the man’s private area. Yudara had done that for teaching purposes and had not expected for the junior doctor to come back and inform him that the elderly man had a large sized cancer in his testes. 

Yudara proceeded to ask the man why he had not come to the hospital earlier as the growth was clearly abnormal. The elderly man told Yudara that he was simply too afraid and ashamed, so he waited two years before heading to the hospital. According to Yudara, the elderly man had hoped that it would go away on its own and unfortunately after just 3 months, he passed away.  

If the HeHealth app had been around, it could have informed him that it was cancer, and he could have rushed to the hospital immediately. However, he did not have the information necessary to decide on the right course of action.  

“This is a real-life case and if you ask me, it’s more than just a stigma. This boils down to the fact that men are portrayed as ‘strong’ which becomes part of their masculine identity and it leads to negative outcomes,” says Yudara, CEO and Founder of HeHealth.  

Men’s Sexual Healthcare In The Future

“So, at the moment, our whole life when it comes to work, it’s on the phone, right? When it comes to entertainment, there is YouTube, Netflix, everything is on the phone, even your bank. With so many services on the phone, why can’t healthcare be on it too?” asked Yudara, CEO and Founder of HeHealth.  

Yudara envisioned HeHealth to be the complete 360 digital solution for any man’s sexual health concerns. It would be a convenient app where men can get all their sexual health needs through the phone, without any judgment or stigma. Yudara wants it to be available to everyone, not depending on the location or their economic state. 

Yudara believes that men should be able to use the app’s services and get the help they deserve. With that said, he hopes that these barriers will come to an end and that men will be more knowledgeable of their own sexual health. 

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