An increasing number of people are turning to the web seeking health care support. Cashing in on the growing trend are sites offering medical counselling and bringing you closer to the best possible professionals in town.
One such portal, www.DocSuggest.com, helps you connect to 2,500 medical professionals and 150 hospitals online — providing detailed information on health care services, including doctors’ profiles, schedule, specialties, ratings and reviews. The site was launched by Shantanu Jha in a joint venture with two of his colleagues last year.
The service is free for users but doctors and hospitals are charged for the services. “There is a revenue-sharing model with hospitals and fixed charges for private clinics and doctors,” says Jha, the founder CEO of DocSuggest.com.
The start-up competes with local listing-sites, including Justdial and Asklaila, but DocSuggest has become an additional revenue channel for hospitals and doctors. “Through our EzAppointment service, DocSuggest directs more and more patients to partner hospitals and doctors, thereby adding to their revenue stream. Additionally, an aggressive marketing strategy on our part ensures higher penetration into the focused customer segment without incurring any cost on the hospital’s part.” According to Jha, a doctors’ academic credentials are verified before registering his name and an elaborate profile is provided to the users. Users are also encouraged to give their feedback on the doctor, hospitals and services provided. In less than a year, DocSuggest.com gets close to 8,000 hits from users per month.
The ease with which the average online Indian is taking to medical services on the Internet, has opened the doors for others, including www.reachadoc. com and www. localdoctor.in. But Jha says DocSuggest.com has an advantage over others. “Ours is not an e-commerce based business model. We provide relevant content to customers. The portal banks on timely delivery and genuine reviews, and that is our biggest differentiator.”
DocSuggest’s EzAppointment solution allows patients to book appointments with hospitals and doctors directly through the Web or phone. Another offering called EzMedicine allows users to order medicines and get it delivered to their preferred location. At present, Vishal Gondal, CEO of UTV Indiagames, and entrepreneur Sanjay Parthasarathy are angel investors in the portal.