- Also helps healthcare service providers build online presence
- Aims to tap into Malaysia’s medical tourism industry
IT all started with a toothache. Jarod Law, founder and managing director of Malaysian software company Code S Sdn Bhd, was desperate, and search engines were no help.
“I was looking for a reliable dentist in the Subang Jaya area to perform a wisdom tooth extraction, but couldn’t find any credible results from search engines,” he told Digital News Asia (DNA) in Kuala Lumpur.
Subang Jaya is a suburban city about 20km west of Kuala Lumpur.
Unable to bear the pain any longer, he had no choice but to visit one of the suggestions turned up by his online search.
“The service wasn’t really good and it was costly. I remember wishing then that there had been someone who could have provided me with more precise and credible information of the clinics available in the area so that I could have compared and made an informed decision,” he said.
That wish led to the idea that was developed into MyDoc.my, a self-funded social enterprise that aims to help people choose the right healthcare services provider.
The platform launched on April 1 with 20 clinics on board, and now has 55 signed up, mostly in the Klang Valley. It will soon announce a partnership with a hospital, said Law, declining to elaborate.
He claimed that the trilingual website (English, Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese) has served over 12,000 patients in the seven months since inception, and has received up to 200 patient testimonials, including suggestions on how to improve.
Human touch in a digital world
Law (pic) – also the cofounder as well as chief executive and technology officer of MyDoc.my – said he is surprised at the traction MyDoc.my has garnered.
“I never thought there would be so much traction for this startup. I had been thinking to myself that if this didn’t work out in six months, I would close it down,” he said.
But three months after MyDoc.my was launched, several patients called up to thank the startup, he claimed.
“These calls were really encouraging, and are an indication that MyDoc.my has proven its value to the market,” he declared.
Keeping in touch with patients is what sets the startup apart of other competitors, argued Law. In fact, it is the company’s standard operation procedure (SOP) to follow up with patients two weeks after they use its services.
Besides making phone calls, Law said he and his cofounder ST Hong also meet up with patients to hear what they have to say.
“Some don’t really understand what we’re doing, so we do our best to explain to them.
“Some come to us for mental support for their medical condition, hoping that we can help them identify the most suitable clinic for them to receive medical treatment.
“I realised that what sets us apart is that we provide the human touch to patients who really need it in this digital world,” he said.
Law said that the startup also hopes to educate patients on how to identify legitimate doctors and clinics.
The website also provides information on common diseases or healthcare conditions such as anxiety, depression, eczema and psoriasis.
“This is to help the friends or family members of patients to understand the condition better,” he explained.
It goes both ways – Law said MyDoc.my empowers healthcare providers by making their services known to patients.
“Through MyDoc.my, clinics are able to establish an online presence with patients, thus optimising their services through us,” he said.
Clinics or doctors can list their services on MyDoc.my via a subscription.
Law said that to ensure all the clinics listed on his website are legitimate and functioning, he and his team will usually visit them to have check out their condition.
MyDoc.my got its initial funding of US$116,238 (RM500,000) from Code S, and Law said that the startup is looking for strategic investors that can help it go regional in 2016.
“We are not in a rush to raise funds as we are not exactly hungry for the money, but what we would value more are strategic investors who have the precise connections to come on board and help us grow further into the industry and the region,” he said.
Meanwhile, Law said the startup is in talks with several Asean partners on tapping into medical tourism, noting that the sector is gaining traction in Malaysia.
According to Frost and Sullivan’s Asia-Pacific Medical Tourism Outlook report, Malaysia is “likely to experience stronger growth” in the medical tourism industry, while statistics from the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council show an increase of 241,000 healthcare travellers to Malaysia from 2011 to 2014.
MyDoc.my aims to have 200 clinics from across Malaysia to list on its website by April 2016.
The company also just announced a tie-up with ticketless-parking startup ParkAide, to ease the parking woes of patients visiting their clinics.
Under the collaboration, the ParkAide mobile app will be integrated into MyDoc.my to allow patients to view the number of available parking bays nearby, in real-time.
Law said MyDoc.my is also developing a mobile app, but added that its main focus remains the web portal as patients tend to turn to search engines first when it comes to looking for a suitable healthcare services provider for their medical condition.
“Healthcare service is an on-demand service, and the first thing you turn to when it comes to this is the search engine rather than a mobile app,” he argued.
Law declined to reveal MyDoc.my’s search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques, saying it is the startup’s “business secret.”
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