Empowering doctors and the healthcare ecosystem with technology
There is one doctor for every 3,000 people in Bangladesh.
Sadman Soeb Adib and his friend, Areek Zillur, figured that this gap in healthcare could be met if they could cut short a doctors’ time otherwise spent on writing a prescription.
With this thought in mind, the duo developed a software that can help any doctor formulate a prescription without having to write or type anything.
This prescription writing software was launched under a health-tech platform – DoctorKoi, in June, 2018. Since then, the start-up has managed to on-board 1,450 doctors who are using its services all across the country.
“Most doctors find the ‘clickability’ of our software very interesting. We help doctors digitize a prescription with just a few clicks and I think that makes our product stand out,” said Sadman, CEO and co-founder of DoctorKoi, during an interview with The Business Standard.
As the DoctorKoi team encountered the Covid-19 pandemic, they introduced online consultation services for doctors who were actively seeing and providing telemedicine services to patients, alongside the prescription writing software.
“There are many doctors who are practicing in Dhaka but also have chambers in other districts. With our software, they can see patients in Barisal while sitting at their Dhaka chambers,” said Sadman.
Not only do DoctorKoi’s services empower doctors to better manage their patients, the start-up also claims that it’s prescription writing software can increase doctors’ productivity by 100 percent.
“We have clients (doctors) who were previously writing 20 prescriptions a day and with our prescription writing software, they can now write 40 to 45 per day,” Sadman told the correspondent.
He believes doctors can serve more patients by using their software and in turn, reduce the doctor to patient ratio.
At present, DoctorKoi’s prescription writing software is facilitating 2,000 doctors in Bangladesh.
This health-tech start-up plans to digitise doctors and chambers all over the country.
Now, digitising any industry may have its perks but holds its challenges as well.
For doctors, having to shift from a traditional method and adapt to a new technology is not a day’s task.
“In order to build a user-friendly interface, we had to develop our software in a way that could resonate with the techniques doctors use,” said Sadman while talking about the adaptation of their software.
DoctorKoi spent many hours and months developing the software. In order to have a clear picture of how doctors operate, the team shadowed doctors to analyse how they write a prescription, keep track of patients’ details, and manage records.
“This is how we coped with doctors and when we approach doctors now, they know about the software and they can relate to it. We have brought a lot of relevancy to our product,” Sadman mentioned.
Speaking of struggles, apart from setting up the venture’s initial structure, scaling its services across the country was also very challenging for DoctorKoi.
According to Sadman, managing funds for small to medium start-ups can be very difficult, especially for health-tech platforms as monetising one is not an easy task.
However, since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Bangladesh, investors are now showing more interest in health-tech start-ups.
Like any other health-tech start-up, DoctorKoi also benefited from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the last six months, DoctorKoi has seen a significant surge in demand as more doctors now feel the need to digitise their services.
In this case, DoctorKoi helps doctors to enrich their practice and provide better service to their patients.
Following the sudden shift in demand, this health-tech startup started offering online consultation services and has been able to accommodate 10,000 patients online for doctors.
Prior to introducing the online consultation service, the start-up itself had to face the hurdles of digitising its operations.
“Even though we are a health-tech start-up, transferring a country-wide operation to the cloud efficiently was very challenging for us. Like the rest of the country, we faced many hits, too. We are still trying to cope as much as we can,” Sadman said.
As of now, DoctorKoi has around 1,450 doctors using its prescription writing software across their 2,000 and counting chambers, and more than 500 users who are actively availing the services daily.
So, what are their future plans?
Sadman believes that DoctorKoi will be one of the pioneers in digitising Bangladesh’s health care system as a whole.