Reimagining healthcare services with GetDoc
By Sharmila Ganapathy-Wallace March 1, 2017
- Has a rewards-based system for patients via the Manis mobile app
- Plans to increase its Malaysia and Singapore member base by 200,000
GET Doc Technologies Sdn Bhd, which is behind the doctor booking platform called GetDoc, hopes to change the way people view and use healthcare through its use of a rewards-based system for patients.
“We have a collaboration with Ebizu Sdn Bhd, where we have a rewards-based system using their mobile app called Manis. This is a universal loyalty app that allows you to actually earn reward points by taking photos of your medical receipts. You accumulate the points and you can redeem them,” GetDoc founder and chief executive officer Jerry Hang told Digital News Asia in a recent interview.
He added that GetDoc has partnered with local telcos, healthcare providers and food and beverage outlets, among others, for this purpose. Over and above this, Manis has over 700,000 users and works with 780 clinics and 600 brands.
According to Hang, the aim is to be more than just a doctor booking platform, hence GetDoc has inked a partnership with the UK’s National Health Service for health and disease information on different countries, as well as information on a variety of medical ailments.
This content is provided and updated by the NHS, and available on the GetDoc website.
For example, knowing health and disease information of a specific country is useful to travellers going to that country, so they can take necessary precautions before traveling.
In addition, GetDoc also has its own repository of healthcare-related articles in Malay, Chinese and English.
“To date we have close to 100,000 monthly readers. We also have a forum where medical experts answer questions by the public,” Hang said.
GetDoc, which has a presence in Malaysia, as well as Singapore, claims over 100,000 members and is targeting another 200,000 members for both countries by year-end.
Being a GetDoc member grants a person accessibility to 6,000 doctors in Malaysia and Singapore, reduces waiting time by enabling one to make appointments on the go and there’s also the rewards-based system as an incentive.
Solving a crucial pain point
The pain point that GetDoc is hoping to solve arose from a very personal experience when Hang lost his father to colon cancer.
Prior to the latter’s death, the family spent a lot of time going from hospital to hospital, waiting on doctors and experienced much hassle trying to get his father the right treatment.
“We realised that a lot of people rely on the phone for this, but when they can buy flight and movie tickets online, why couldn’t they book doctors online and even get more medical information online? Hence, we started GetDoc,” he explains.
Hang started GetDoc with now-wife Chris Ching, who is the chief marketing officer. GetDoc launched in Malaysia and Singapore in October 2015 and has gained quite a bit of traction since its launch.
Hang said that there are now more than 10,000 mobile users from iOS and Android. The Malaysia and Singapore websites together attract more than 100,000 visitors monthly compared to 2015, when they had 2,000 mobile users and 15,000 monthly visitors to the websites.
Predictably, among his early challenges with GetDoc was getting doctors to use the platform. Another was to find a way to connect to patients apart from calls or walk-ins.
“We had to first create the awareness among doctors about how our technology could help them. And then the doctors would say, ‘so who knows about your app and how large is your member base’ and what not. So even when we first started we had to convince them that we were working hard to get members on board,” Hang said.
GetDoc’s hard work seems to have paid off. It now has now 6,000 doctors across Malaysia and Singapore onboard.
“I would say 6,000 is actually quite a good number for us to move forward so I think our main aim this year is to see how we can reach out to more audiences, through partnerships like Manis, through online campaigns and also through our engagement with corporates as well.”
Plans for the future
When asked if GetDoc is on the lookout for investors, Hang said that this would hinge upon the investor taking the business to another level, saying also that they’re careful when it comes to bringing in future investors.
The business has been self-funded from the beginning with Hang remortgaging his home, with loans from friends and family, and it continues to be self-funded. Their revenue model is based on subscription fees from clinics and hospitals with Hang declining to reveal more. [Para updated.]
Commenting on their regional expansion plans, Hang is in talks with potential partners in Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam to bring GetDoc to those countries.
When asked what he has learned from his journey so far, Hang replied that it is to stay true to his mission, or rather, GetDoc’s mission, which is to empower and deliver a better healthcare experience to communities.
“Every day we work tirelessly to bridge the gap between users and medical professionals, add value and solve very real issues faced by them. It was never about how much funding we raised, who we know, or how many PR gimmicks we did. To the outside world, we might be small, with limited resources and connections, but these ‘limitations’ drive us to work harder and smarter, to achieve our mission,” he explained.
Hang also believes that more can be done to improve the Malaysian startup ecosystem. While he commends the government for providing grants, courses and networking sessions, what startups are actually looking forward to, is more connections to corporates, through government-led organisations such as the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
“I think what we’re actually looking forward to is for the likes of MaGiC and MDEC to connect us to more corporates. This means providing a platform for opportunities, for us (startups) to work even more closely with big corporates such as Axiata and Maxis,” he said.
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