Online healthcare is a profitable industry abroad. Pakistan has started late but it is making good strides. Let us have a look at some of the healthcare startups with potential to disrupt markets.
doctHERs is a startup with aims to provide healthcare services to underprivileged areas of Pakistan.It also aims to increase the number of female doctors as only 1/3rd of graduated doctors actually practice. The clinics use “Tele Medicine” technology to connect doctors and patients online. It has evolved a lot ever since it was formed and has won several awards in the process. This startup was cofounded by Dr Iffat Zaffar, Dr Sara Khurram, and Dr Asher Hassan. However, last year, the co-founders Dr Iffat and Dr Sara decided to split and form Sehat Kahani.
It is an app that lets you find doctors and make an appointment. Patient reviews are also available which can help you make the right decision. This app also lets doctors who want to increase their reach and make a reputation. They were able to get investment of Rs 20 million. The app is available on both Android and iOS. Saad Siddique is the founder of this startup which was launched almost 3 years ago. The doctors available are currently of Karachi. Hope the startup will expand to other cities as well.
Health Wire is an online portal that aims to improve access to doctors. You can sign up on the website for free. After that, you can search for dentists or a dental clinic located near you depending on the treatment you need. You can make an appointment and later provide reviews. HealthWire is based at LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship, Lahore. It is co-founded by Hamza Iqbal and Haris Durrani.
It is basically an online pharmacy and medical store with services all over Pakistan. It was started by Apothecare (Pvt.) Ltd.’s. Orders for medicine can be made online by just verifying prescription using email or fax. After that there has to be a confirmation of payment to have the medicines delivered. You can also find some consumer items on the website like skincare products and baby care products. The site is managed by Nadir Mumtaz.
Sehat Kahani was founded by the former co-founders of DoctHers, Dr Sara and Dr Iffat. The reason of the split was attributed to the difference in vision and -priorities of the co-founders. Sehat Kahani started off by retaining the assets, operations and contracts and MOUs of DoctHers. Apart from this, it aims to create 50 e-hubs and 200 e-spokes by 2020 and increase the participation of the women doctors.
Marham.pk is another platform which connects doctors to patients. It is available on the web as well as a mobile app (both Android and iOS). It has a wide range of doctors of almost every specialty from the major cities of Pakistan. Founders are Ehsan, Amna and Farwa. The startup also operates a Facebook group where patients post queries and are answered by doctors. Last year, it was able to get investment valued at $ 1.5 million from a businessman from Peshawar.
Similar to FindMyDoctor and Marham, patients can search for doctors from a wide variety of specialties and can book appointments. Questions can be asked from qualified doctors on local forums. Consultation can also take place using video. It has a database of more than 15000 doctors and covers almost half a hundred cities.
Let us hope the mentioned startups and also those that were not present in the list, continue in their respective visions and missions and improve the overall condition of the healthcare industry of our country.