Digital doctor for primary care!

Delhi based digital health platform, Docprime is offering its consultation and diagnostic test scheduling services to bridge the gap between doctors and patients, with a long term vision to increase both accessibility and affordability

0
150
Download PDF

When it comes to the availability of doctors in India to treat the growing population, there is a huge gap in demand and supply. The situation is even worst when it comes to tier 2 cities. People have to often travel far off distances even for basic ailments.

While there is no easy solution to address such a mammoth problem, however, one can still see a ray of hope in the potential offered by digital information technology. One such platform, Docprime.com is offering a variety of solutions to patients. It lets visitors book consultations with doctors or schedule a range of medical tests. The New Delhi based startup claims to host 25,000 doctors and 5,000 diagnostic labs on its platform serving areas in 40 cities.

Promoted by the digital insurance company, Policybazaar.com, the startup is slowly yet steadily creating its footprints in the digital healthcare market space.

As per its top management, the idea behind founding Docprime was to make healthcare affordable and accessible to a large percentage of people who currently need to visit a doctor for consultation or get a diagnostic test done. More so, with 78 million middle-class people in India, as per Economist- January 2018), it is not a surprise that the OPD market is bigger than IPD in India.

Incorporation and the funding boost

Docprime.com officially went live in October 2018 with an aim to transform India’s healthcare sector. By connecting patients with doctors on a real-time basis, the brand is committed to providing affordable and accessible solutions to consumers. The company also wants to spread awareness around regular health monitoring and preventive healthcare, which is not yet followed in the country.

In a short span of six months, it has registered 1 million unique visitors and the management gives credit to the success of free consultation which comes at a click of the button. The company that offers 5000 free online consultations daily has already expanded to 12 major states like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, etc. The medical consultation over chat currently is 50% automated with the help of chatbots. The company plans is to make it 80% automated in the next 12 months’ time.

Docprime.com received initial internal funding of USD 50 million from the parent company, Etechaces Marketing and Consulting Pvt. Ltd in September 2018. The parent company also holds India’s leading insurance brand, Policybazaar.com, and leading lending marketplace, Paisabazaar.com. The group has supported Docprime’s vision of affordable and accessible healthcare for all.

As per Richit Ummat-Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer,  Docprime.com,” Our foray into healthtech space was in line with our vision to provide quality and affordable healthcare to all. In order to fulfill this vision, we built an online consultation platform that aims at filling the huge gap of the low doctor-patient ratio by connecting patients with doctors on a real-time basis from the convenience of their homes or offices, or even while traveling.  Through our platform, patients can get an instant free of cost consultation from dedicated medical experts over chat.”

”We have also built a cashless network of doctors and labs to give discounted services to people at large. Furthermore, we will soon be coming up with a simple and cost-effective subscription-based OPD product to bring affordability to customers for all their family’s OPD healthcare needs,” adds Richit.

Challenges and vision

Since healthcare is largely a very fragmented market, hence the initial challenge was to build a decent cashless network which was required to disrupt the market. Though Policybazaar Group has the expertise to bring AI led technological solutions, however, another challenge was to build an AI engine in such a way so that doctors ‘time is best utilized to prescribe treatment to patients. The AI led automation has allowed us to handle a large number of queries, every day.

The health sector is a growing space with ever-developing new technologies and trends. After chat bots where the interaction is via a website or app; the world is moving towards voice bots which is the next era of bots. The voice bots will help in improving the customer service and productivity of the sector.

Listing out the long term objectives, Ashish Gupta- CEO, Docprime.com and Tech Evangelist, Policybazaar.com, says. “The company wants to focus on making preventive healthcare affordable to masses and plans to invest 15mn dollars over three years to spread awareness around the importance of preventive healthcare checks. The remaining amount will be used on expanding the business reach and extending the team of specialist doctors for in-house free consultations.”

With every fifth person in India suffering from a chronic disease, early detection and fitting in regular monitoring is crucial. In this scenario, a trend in the near future can be seen, where, AI will help in successfully diagnosing diseases, and facilitating regular contact between patients and healthcare providers. The digitization of this process can assist in continuous monitoring of the patients’ status and administering the medication.

Moreover, a trend can also be witnessed where AI will be helpful in predicting global epidemics. The intelligent insights related to weather, earlier outbreaks, pollution etc. can be created with the help of machine learning which can help in clinical decision making.

“Our long term vision is to bring digital accessibility to healthcare which is backed by complete transparency. From over 100,000 free medical consultations on a monthly basis and are targeting to reach to 100000 daily consultations by December 2020,” says Ashish adding “We also plan to expand to 100 cities by the end of December 2020 and grow the network to 150,000 doctors and 20,000 labs.”

“Our vision is not time-bound,” says Ashish in a hint towards the quick result oriented strategy that company would be following in next few years.