Practo is the world’s largest healthcare appointment booking platform: Shashank ND, founder, Practo
What was the origin behind starting Practo?
We started Practo when we discovered that there was a profound need to transform the healthcare industry and center it around the patient – we call this approach ‘Patient First’ and this is one of the guiding lights for all decisions at Practo. We also recognized that in order to improve consumer’s healthcare experience, we had to begin with the doctors. Traditionally, doctors are not considered to be tech-savvy and it is felt that they have tremendous resistance towards adopting technology. We realized that it was infact the exact opposite. We understand that the reason doctors haven’t really taken to software is because up until we came along, software wasn’t really designed specifically for them. In 2009 I asked my doctor to email me a copy of my medical report, the doctor said he couldn’t do it because his software didn’t have an email button. Email was not new in 2009, it was widespread and yet no one had thought of putting an email button in his software. I was shocked.
Founder, Practo We decided to change this and build a product that was designed from the ground up for doctors and in 2009, we launched Practo Ray – a cloud based clinic management software. We kept it cloud based so doctors didn’t have to worry software updates, hardware requirements, data security and data backups. This allowed them to focus on what is important – their patients. Today it is used by doctors to manage millions of patients and healthcare records every month and we hold over 90 percent market share amongst all doctors who use software to manage their practice. In 2013, we launched Practo.com – our doctor discovery platform which allows consumers to find the right doctors and book instant appointments. Guided by our ‘Patient First’ philosophy, we’ve taken the unique route of listing all doctors for free (post verification ofcourse), we also don’t charge patients to book appointments or for doctors to receive these appointments. The entire process is completely free – because this ensures that patients have the widest possible choice. Today Practo is the world’s largest healthcare appointment booking platform with nearly 40 million appointments managed every year.
Can you give us some details on year on year growth, and explain how Practo has grown in terms of doctors and subscribers?
We started out by enrolling doctors first. In 2009, we launched Practo Ray, the first SaaS product in India – a cloud based clinic management software. We kept it cloud based so that doctors didn’t have to worry about software updates, hardware requirements, data security and data backups. This has allowed them to focus on what is important for their patients. We found great acceptance and interest from doctors. Further, with more and more requests rolling in we actually found that doctors were passionately interested in the product and over the last several years, Practo Ray has evolved basis direct feedback from them and is therefore keenly tuned into their workflows and specific needs. Today Practo Ray has over 90 percent market-share in India and doctors use Practo Ray to manage healthcare for millions of patients every month.