Special Report: Australian digital health group 1st Group (ASX:1ST) has launched the EyeHealth1st campaign, driving new advertising revenue for the company and tapping into co-founder Klaus Bartosch’s initial vision.

The ongoing EyeHealth1st campaign, launched in conjunction with partners including Glaucoma Australia, Optometry Giving Sight, myDr.com.au and Tonic Health Media aims to reach five million Australians per month, educating them on the need to get regular eye checks and the benefits of early intervention.

“Eye health in Australia’s rapidly growing aging population is a pressing issue that needs far greater awareness and we’re hoping to reach five million Australians per month and ultimately reduce the incidents of preventable vision loss and blindness for people aged 40 years and over,” Mr Bartosch says.

“90 per cent of blindness or vision loss due to eye disease is preventable with early detection and treatment. Sadly, by the time you realise something is wrong, it is often too late. So regular eye examinations by Australians over 40, almost half of the country’s population, is vital to avoid vision loss or blindness in our old age.”

EyeHealth1st will point the public to a new dedicated online education and booking platform for Australia’s independent optometrists, which enables consumers to more easily find and book an appointment online 24/7 for an eye examination. It will also drive new advertising revenue for the company through contribution fees from 1st Group’s independent optometry customers when consumers book a new appointment with them.

Eyeing revenue

And it will also be healthy for 1st Group’s bottom line. “Our optometry customers only pay for a ‘new’ patient appointment generated through the campaign, the fee being $15 per new patient booking which is far less than the average cost of acquiring a new patient by practices,” Mr Bartosch says.

The campaign hopes to reach up to five million people every month, but even far more conservative estimates, of say 10,000 people a month in the initial stages (which would be less than a 5 per cent increase in booking volumes by 1st Group’s independent optometry customers), would mean $150,000 in monthly revenue added.

“This is the re-entry of our business into generating advertising revenue, and importantly, in a way that adds real value for our customers,” he added.

That’s on top of the company’s current revenue-generating model, which recently cracked nine figures in a quarter for the first time.

Early intervention

Mr Bartosch says the launch of the campaign signals the start of the third phase of 1st Group’s business model — and one of the key principles he wanted to achieve from the outset — driving early intervention through preventative care campaigns.

“Phase three is monetising our network but doing so in a way that we are driving early intervention and preventative care programs, and which also adds considerable value to our customers businesses,” he says.

“That was one of the three core principles in starting our business: enabling early intervention, encouraging good patient choices and supporting continuity of care. Our passionate focus on these three core principles ensures that our business model always drives great outcomes for all stakeholders including the healthcare system.”

He says the matter is very personal to him, as early intervention into what he thought was just arthritic knee pain ended up signalling that he had a rare form of leukemia.

“The doctors told me it had the potential to take my life in the next month,” he says.

“Had I not booked that appointment online late that night to see my doctor the next day, it might have been a much more difficult journey for me, I might not even be here. So that opportunity provided by our MyHealth1st.com.au platform, which enabled early intervention, was crucial.”

Helping optometrists

EyeHealth1st is powered by the technology behind MyHealth1st, Australia’s leading online healthcare appointment booking service used by more than eight million Australians to book everything from a dentist appointment to one with a physiotherapist.

The campaign will unite independent, community optometrists, providing them with a platform to attract customers against industries two major corporate behemoths.

“The latest stats show the optometry industry is worth $3.7 billion and we want to drive a large chunk of this revenue to the independent optometrists on MyHealth1st who make up the majority of the market in Australia via our campaign,” Mr Bartosch says.


This story was developed in collaboration with 1ST Group, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This advice has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, therefore, consider the appropriateness of the advice, in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs, before acting on the advice. If this advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product, the recipient should obtain a disclosure document, a Product Disclosure Statement or an offer document (PDS) relating to the product and consider the PDS before making any decision about whether to acquire the product.