Two factors differentiate DocsApp from several others trying to mitigate the problem of doctor shortages in India through online consultation
Two of Facebook’s early angel investors – Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan – and Japan’s Rebright Partners have made a seed investment of $1.2 million in Bangalore-based health tech startup DocsApp.
Two factors differentiate this app from several others trying to mitigate the problem of shortage of doctors in India through online consultation. “We ensure all our doctors are specialists and not the MBBS general physicians you find on most other apps,” Satish Kannan, CEO and Co-Founder of DocsApp, tells Tech in Asia. “Secondly, we make a time commitment of 30 minutes within which you can consult a specialist doctor. Other apps make the connection without taking responsibility for fulfilling the consultation.” That’s vital in an emergency or at odd hours of the night.
The nine specialities DocsApp currently offers are gynecology, psychiatry, dermatology, pediatrics, weight management, sexology, gastroenterology, general medicine and hair & scalp care. “It’s estimated that two-thirds of the commonest health issues people face can be managed online,” points out Satish, who earlier worked for Philips healthcare.
The app also overcomes the inhibitions many people in India have over face-to-face consultations for gynecology, psychiatry, or sexology. “People are still afraid to approach doctors to talk about their gynecological issues. I have seen that mobile consultations help people overcome this problem. In gynecology, most of the problems can be handled through the app,” says Dr Namrata Mishra, MS in gynecology from Mumbai, who is among the 500 specialist doctors currently on the app.
The IIT Madras connection
Co-founders Satish Kannan and Enbasekar Dinadayalane are both engineers from IIT Madras. DocsApp was initially incubated in the IIT Madras entrepreneur cell. When the time was ripe for scaling up, Satish and Enbasekar approached VCs as well as the IIT alumni network. That’s how Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan came into the picture – they’re both from IIT Madras.
Anand and Venky are iconic Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors, who sold their company Junglee to Amazon and architected the marketplace model for ecommerce way back in the nineties. They believe DocsApp with its “whizbang technology, specialist doctors, and speedy consultations can revolutionize primary healthcare in India.”
Japan’s Rebright Partners has been an active investor in India since last year. Its founder, Takeshi Ebihara, feels the DocsApp team has “a great understanding of the healthcare space, and it is a scalable business model that can service millions of patients across India and Southeast Asia.”
Editing by Malavika Velayanikal
This post was originally published on Tech in Asia.
Featured image credit: Day Donaldson