We are: DocsApp
Incubated at: GSF Accelerator
DocsApp was initiated by IIT Madras alumni Satish Kannan and Enbasekar D. It is the ‘WhatsApp of Healthcare’ enabling those living in far flung places to access medical advice and care as well as those hesitant to visit specific specialists due to privacy concerns. It is a one-of-its-kind app that connects doctors with patients on the go and provides efficient and convenient diagnostic services and medicines at their doorsteps.
Genesis: During our time at IIT-M, we spent time waiting for Doctors outside their clinics, visited government hospitals in Pune, Mumbai etc. and realised despite the good intentions of doctors, they are very busy and overworked. Also seeing the ordeal everyone waiting at the clinic was going through, we wanted to solve issues in health, using the skills learned at college. In our final year, we decided to work in the healthcare industry for a year before starting up & creating DocsApp.
After realising that many of the health issues existing in the present day can be diagnosed and treated online, we drew up four primary TA clusters including the time-crunched busy professionals, those hesitant to visit specialists such as sexologists, psychiatrists/psychologists, those dwelling in far-flung remote towns/cities minus any access to specialists and people who need 2nd opinion in specialisations like Oncology, Neurology, Cardiology, Diabetes etc. The focus on ‘quality healthcare’ and ‘ease of access’ helped us raise $1.4 million for the start-up.
Founders: Satish and Enba are both IIT Madras alumni. Satish is the Co-founder and CEO of DocsApp. He oversees all key aspects of business development, sales, operations, fundraising and making business strategies for the company. A B. Tech and an M. Tech in Electrical engineering from IIT Madras, Satish kick-started his career with Philips Healthcare, doing Research and Development on large machines used by cardiologist and ortho specialist doctors for conducting surgeries. Besides implementing long-term plans for DocsApp, the former IITian loves to read books, travel and practice yoga.
Enbasekar D is the Co-founder & CTO of DocsApp and manages the technology, engineering and product strategies for the company. He holds B.Tech and M.Tech degrees in Electrical Engineering. Enba has more than 6 years of experience in the research and development of healthcare medical devices as well as providing uninterrupted power supply to consumers in rural regions. Apart from his role of CTO, Enba also takes out time for his hobbies like playing football and tennis, watching sports and movies, and reading books.
Our Product: According to a report from the Healthcare Performance Management Institute in 2013, and attributed to “National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey 2006 (August 2008)”, 70% of physician visits and 40% of hospital ER visits can be handled by a phone call. So, around 70% of health issues can be handled online. These consultations are provided by MD qualified specialist doctors on chat/call through the mobile app. There are 3 key use cases:
- Patients from small towns can access specialist doctors for primary health care problems. These constitutes common problems of men (cold, cough, fever, gastric, skin, hair), women (gen medicine, menstruation, fertility, pregnancy, post pregnancy health, anemia), babies (general health issues with babies, lactation, growth issues in babies).
- 2nd opinion for surgeries – For patients who want information on surgeries, can easily talk to a specialist doctor on the app and take decision
- Privacy – Patients with issues related to Psychiatry or Sexology find it difficult to physically visit a specialist doctor due to taboo. They want to talk to a doctor privately and discuss and get consultation.
How DocsApp works: Download App > Choose discipline for consultation > Upload the symptoms/ diagnosis/your medical history > Pay a nominal fee > Get consulted
Services: DocsApp provides specialist consultations for all age groups (18+ in adults) in several key disciplines. Some, such as Dermatology, gynaecology, general medicine, pregnancy and child care have seen high to medium traction. We also provide 2nd opinion in practices like Oncology, diabetes, cardiology, neurology and lab report analysis.
Advantage of DocsApp: The main standout feature of the platform is that it doesn’t require the user to make any appointments for consultations. If you look at all the other health care apps out there, a majority of them allow patients to only browse through doctor profiles online and book appointments. DocsApp provides specialists’ services for all age groups in several key disciplines such as dermatology, gynaecology, sexology, paediatrics, general medicine, psychiatry, weight management etc. Its tech-enabled services are transparent and round-the-clock.
The DocsApp Edge
- Transparent, tech-enabled, Round-the-clock and multi-language service
- About 1000+ Doctors available for consultation online
- Services across India reaching out to over 400,000 patients
- Over 3,000 pathlabs within patient’s reach with DocsApp
- Assistance 360°: Doctors on call, medicine support and sample collection at home
- Conforms to WHO’s 3As – Availability, Affordability & Accessibility
DocsApp Network: ● About 1000+ Doctors available for consultation online
- Services across India reaching out to over 400,000 patients
- Over 3,000 pathlabs within patient’s reach
- 80 city medicine delivery in 3 hours, pan india medicine delivery in 4-5 days
Customer response: We have had a great response and learning from various customer experiences. While many customers thanked DocsApp for the speed at which they got connected with a doctor, others are grateful for our 24×7 availability for concerns ranging from ‘Baby crying at night’ to ‘Depression and loneliness’. Here are some of their experiences in their own words –
Challenges: Broadly, we faced two major challenges:
- With patient onboarding – Initially, trust was a major challenge due to the newness of this solution. Based on patient feedback our team worked on enhancing the UX & various product features to build trust. We started providing a very detailed profile of the Doctors on the app and email. We deployed strict quality control processes. In addition to ratings by patients who have taken consultations, we have a team of senior Doctors who review the medical quality of these consultations. This ensures only well experienced doctors are made available to our users. Also, if a case is complicated, and doctor advises a physical checkup, then we refund in 100%. (Emergencies are not treated in DocsApp and we advise users to visit hospital in such cases.)
- With doctor onboarding – We initially onboarded some 12 doctors to try our model, the rest came organically to us. Initial issues they faced were related to manual concerns. A lot of doctor-time was going into patient detail collection and redirecting to the correct department. We built algorithms to allot the relevant available doctor to provide consultations fast. We work with Doctors to train them and give continuous feedback make it easier for the Doctors to provide consultations in DocsApp. We ensure that doctor time is used efficiently.
Advantages of being part of an accelerator/incubator: GSF provided the founder team great exposure and insights into the startup world. There they got introduced to founders of growing ventures like PayTM, Bharat Matrimony, Shaadi.com etc. It was a great blend of lessons from various disciplines needed in an entrepreneur’s journey.
With business and technology guidance from veterans like Anand Rajaraman, GSF Accelerator, IIT-M Incubation Center and other top angels like Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Paytm), Anupam Mittal (Shaadi.com), Rajesh Sawhney (GSF), Srikanth Sundararajan (Helion), the platform aims to grow its user base to 1 million patients in 2017. Several IIT-M professors like Ashok Junjunwala, Balaraman Ravindran have come forward to mentor the technology team while investors continue to mentor on business aspects and partnerships.
Vision: Bangalore-based DocsApp, which began with a team of 6, has grown to a team of 50 members today, building products that hold an enormous potential to impact billions of people across the world. Promoting an impression of “Google mat Karo, DocsApp Karo!”, so far DocsApp has reached out to 400,000 patients across India. The company is working on increasing doctor productivity in order to bridge the doctor-patient demand-supply gap. The healthcare platform envisions taking the number to 1 million customers in 2017 and 100 million five years down the line through an expansion in 3 countries of South East Asia after India. It eventually aims to make world-class, high-quality healthcare accessible to the masses in the country by building technological solutions that can assist doctors in providing impeccable consultation and disease diagnosis.
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