The healthcare industry in Malaysia is seeing a significant amount of reform because of both local and international efforts. Apps like Doctor2U and BookDoc ease the access of the obtaining healthcare for both individuals and businesses.
Now a healthcare discovery platform called Practo is making its debut in the Malaysian healthcare scene. Armed with a mission to improve human longevity by simplifying healthcare, the platform is offering two of its solutions namely Practo Search and Practo Ray to Malaysian consumers.
The platform currently lists more than 500 doctors from over 350 local clinics that can be searched and booked. The platform covers more than 50% of private practices in Kuala Lumpur making Practo one of the largest related databases in the city. To make sure that the data listed on the site is reliable, Practo’s own team goes through every street to meet and verify the doctors.
And all this is done for free and they don’t charge either the doctors or the consumers to find, book or receive appointments.
Since their inception in 2008 by Shashank and Abhinav Lal in Bengaluru (India), they’ve grown their database to more than 200,000 doctors; 5,000 diagnostic centers; and 10,000 hospitals. All this data is shared and used by both their products, Practo Search and Practo Ray.
You can use Practo Search to find a doctor that suits your needs from their verified database of healthcare professionals. You can either search by name, specialisation or even by symptoms and Practo Search will list out the relevant doctors.
Practo Ray on the other hand is a product that’s tightly coupled with their consumer offering. In essence, it’s a cloud-based practice management solution that’s currently used by thousands of doctors and clinics to manage millions of patients every year. Practo Ray allows doctors and clinics to simplify and automate practice management so that the doctors can focus on their core competency, i.e., treating and caring for patients.
This solution also allows them to handle business processes like billing and inventory management for doctors while helping them create better digital healthcare records and prescriptions that consumers can access right through the app.
Practo Ray will be available as an annual subscription starting from RM300 a month.
Shashank ND, the Founder and CEO of Practo said, “Practo Ray and Practo Search come together to create the world’s first healthcare hyperloop, connecting the entire healthcare ecosystem and helping consumers make better healthcare decisions. Our goal is to provide a platform where our offerings work seamlessly together to deliver the best experience for all users.”
The team at Practo is currently working to expand its coverage within KL and they are on a mission to list all the private practitioners available on the platform. Ultimately, they aim to list all the healthcare professionals in Malaysia.
Practo’s 15-member launch team in Malaysia will expand their operations to surrounding areas including Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Puchong, Klang and Seremban.
In the next few months, Practo will expand its product line and offer healthcare products across wellness, fitness, preventive and curative medicine in Malaysia. All their products will be available through the web and through their mobile apps. The mobile apps are available for both iOS and Android devices.
Other than Malaysia, Practo is present in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and India. According to livemint.com, they are looking to branch out to at least 10 countries by the end of the year. They will target developing countries in Southeast Asia, West Asia and Latin America before they tackle highly competitive markets in more developed countries.
To support their plans of expansion they recently managed to raise US$90 million from Tencent, Belgian venture capital firm Sofina, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Google Capital, among other investors.
Practo Search is smart enough to identify keywords and it determines if it’s a symptom or the name and shows you only relevant and related results. You can then check out different profiles before you make an appointment. You can even check out pictures of the clinic, so that you know exactly where you’re going to end up when you’re sick.
While the idea of having the largest database of healthcare professionals may sound great, I found quite a few number of complains of poor service and fake listings on their Facebook page. The complaints and the fake listings are probably the result of Practo not being able to manage and fact check such amounts of data. However, they are currently working to rectify such issues.
Then again, “Prevention is always better than cure.”