Coimbatore-based iCliniq, an online platform for patients to consult doctors in real-time, is looking to raise funds from venture capital firms to support technology development. The company has around 1,100 doctors for 80 specialties and 110,000 patients in around 160 countries.
The company, which started off in Bengaluru in 2012, later shifted base to Coimbatore where its founder Dhruv Suyamprakasam hails from. It currently offers consultation over chat/message, voice call and video call.
The phone numbers of the doctor and the patient are connected to ensure privacy of both the parties and the company also creates content over the queries from the patient and the responses from the doctor.
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"While we started to address the problems of patients in India, around 70 per cent of our revenue comes from the US and the UK, But, the patients are not expat Indians, they are natives of those countries. Most of them are consultation for a second opinion," said Suyamprakasam, who is also the CEO of iCliniq.
He said iCliniq insists that its doctors offering consultation through its platform do so only on a part-time basis, with rest of the time spent for offline practice. This is to ensure the quality of treatment, he added. While it offers around 80 specialities, most of the queries are related to dermatology, paediatrics, gynaecology and psychiatry.
Suyamprakasam said that while it started a group in online messaging platform WhatsApp to offer services to customers, the platform was not flexible enough to meet patients' needs. So, it created a 'bot' - an app within an app - in another online messaging platform Telegram, through which it currently offers chat services on various specialities.
The company, funded by the promoter and a doctor so far, will be raising funds to enhance the use of technology, said Suyamprakasam. It would look at raising $3-5 million in the near future to fast track its technology. It is planning to use the existing contents of queries and answers to provide answers to the same queries posed by a patient later, which would increase the speed of delivery of solution.
Its doctor panel consists of medical doctors, physicians and therapists from the US, the UK, United Arab Emirates, India, Singapore and Germany.