Practo is the world’s largest health­care ap­point­ment book­ing plat­form: Shashank ND, founder, Practo

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Voice&Data:

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.

Shashank ND:

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.

Voice&Data:

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.

Shashank ND:

—Shashank ND

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