“Virtual clinic” App for Doctors

If users can ask questions on their mobiles, why can’t doctors answer them from theirs? We answered the question in the affirmative with the release of our mobile apps (in iOS and Android platform) for our doctors. Now our doctors can answer both public forum and premium questions from their mobiles and tablets.

We expect this app to cut-down our already-slim turn-around times as doctors get a push message when there is a new question in their specialty/interest to answer or when a user asks a follow-up question. Doctors really love it since it allows them to answer on the go and also helps to have a quick glance at their earnings report to check if they need to increase their earnings before the end of the month (hmm…remember the iPad that you wanted to buy ?). We already have some on-the-mantlepiece reviews from our doctors.

We also think that this will help more doctors to find us easily and improve our doctor sign-up rates. Yes. We are 15,000+ doctors already. But the more, the merrier (or quicker), isn’t it? Needless to say, we are really excited to have provided a much easier way for our doctors to answer and will certainly be making a lot of improvements as weeks pass-by.

Get the Free Virtual Clinic App here –
App Store – Virtual Clinic for iOS
Google Play – Virtual Clinic for Android

Mobile Application – “Ask a Doctor”

If e-health is already here, can m-health be far behind? HealthcareMagic realized this and started working towards giving their users a way to get near-instant answers from its vast network of doctors in the form of an app. We recently released our app in both Android and iOS markets. What followed was rave reviews and some 25,000+ downloads in pretty quick time.

We are really happy with the way our users have taken to the app. Our users get to ask unlimited questions to our doctors and specialists from the comfort of their phone or tablet. Caught with a bug when you are on vacation? Never mind. Just key in your question and before long, your phone will beep to inform you that a doctor has gone through your case and answered it. We are already seeing that this new channel of communication is increasing the Life-time period (LTP) of our consumers. Going by data that is coming in thick and fast, we think that the LTP of users subscribing through mobile will be much higher as well.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we did zero (yes nil) paid marketing for our app. All downloads were garnered by tapping into our existing user base and our social media followers (Didn’t we mention that we have around a million followers in our Twitter account?). Yes. Looking forward to some exciting times for our mobile application.

Get the FREE Ask a Doctor App – http://bit.ly/AskDocApp

Why Doctors Love HealthcareMagic?

In the last post, we saw why corporate love HealthcareMagic. It was because of the value we provide, in terms of quick doctor answers to their queries. What makes us tick is the huge doctor network that we have. But building it has not been easy. Today, let’s look at why doctors would come and spend their valuable time at HealthcareMagic to give answers to our users’ health queries.

To a practicing doctor, time is money. A doctor looks to spend his working hours in the most efficient and prolific way possible. So, a doctor hates wasting his working hours without getting paid for it. Translated, a doctor hates waiting in his clinic for patients more than you hate waiting for the doctor in his clinic. HealthcareMagic allows a doctor to spend his free time earning money. This free time may be the time he waits for patients in his clinic or the time he commutes or even some time during his weekends simply to augment his income. This is the fundamental value proposition that HealthcareMagic gives its doctors.

An average doctor can fill his free time answering questions on his mobile (yes, we provide interface for doctors to answer on the go!) and supplement his income by 20% easily. As a doctor gets more efficient in answering questions, he earns more per answer – thanks to our carefully crafted reward programs that incentivize doctors good in giving answers that satisfies our users – and sticks around longer. We see a 30% increase in the amount of time a doctor spends with us per session and a three-fold increase in the login frequency within the first 2 months a doctor spends with us.

Apart from the monetary gain, HealthcareMagic helps the doctors in gaining online reputation which leads to more foot-falls at the doctor’s clinic. An answer that a doctor writes at HealthcareMagic is searchable even after years through search engines (with doctor’s photo and clinic address) and so the doctor’s effort never goes wasted.

We also help doctors by providing them productivity enhancement tools like SMS reminder tool for patient appointments. For example: If a patient has an appointment with a doctor at 5 PM, he will receive an SMS reminder at 3 PM about his appointment. The doctor will also get a list of all patients by SMS every morning. And this is totally FREE of cost to the doctor and the patient.

We believe that a win-win situation is necessary for any mutually-beneficial business partnership and we think this strong underlying formula has helped us grow our doctor network to its present size of over 10,000 doctors. This is the reason that doctors love to be in our network.

Why Do Corporates love HealthcareMagic?

Organizations today are under pressure to provide world-class wellness services to their employees to  attract and retain talent. This definitely creates an environment of healthier and more productive employees and reduced insurance premiums. This also creates a demand for services designed around corporate employee wellness.

Whenever our salespeople meet HR heads of organizations, the first emotion that they get is a surprise that one such service exists. “The amount of time it saves our employees by obviating those second-opinion visits is huge”, one HR manager quipped. That probably explains our rather healthy renewal rate of 95% with our corporate clients.

We provide a range of services to our corporate clients. Besides the promise of an answer online from our 10,000+ specialist network, the employees get goal-oriented personalized diet plans from our dieticians who follow-up regularly and make sure that the desired results are achieved.  They also get access to psychiatric-counselling – a very important but often-overlooked aspect of tackling stress-related disorders. They can also avail of a detailed questionnaire-based health-risk assessment that pin-points health risks based on 60+ factors. Employees can also share their health reports and lab results with online doctors using our electronic health record system.  And by the way, our anonymous, aggregated risk reports shared with the HRs arm them with rich information that allows them to plan activities to reduce those risks and hence reduce insurance claims.

For HealthcareMagic, besides a revenue stream, corporate clientele provide an excellent branding vehicle where employees of an organization talk to their friends about us. The spill-over effect to our retail business manifests in the form of an increase in direct traffic in geographies where we have a strong corporate presence. Given that we leverage our doctor network across our retail and corporate user bases, we are able to bring the economies of scale to both our corporate and retail users and provide them better value for their money – a proposition that anyone would love, any day.

In a nutshell, why do our corporate clients love us? Simple! We bring them value – in terms of reduced employee absenteeism, in terms of reduced insurance premiums, and in terms of increased productivity, at street-beating prices.

For copy cats and serious players

In the last few months, we have seen a lot of copy-cats of our business models emerging. Some copy our designs, some copy our themes, and some, all our content – verbatim! So what is it that drives them ? I thought of writing this post so that the copy cats get the right direction and copy the right things. For other serious players, this post may be an experience sharing exercise how we turned around a free model to a paid model. Not to mention that we have ourselves copied in the past but we soon realized that it was taking us nowhere.

The Online Healthcare space has received a lot of attention in the recent past.  As people become more health-aware and Internet connection is getting better and many people access Internet through mobile phones, the online healthcare industry has started growing by leaps and bounds. “Googling” for doctors, symptoms, home-remedies, side effects has increased and there are a lot of companies that have jumped into the fray to bridge the demand gap.

We can classify the companies broadly into two categories – Public Forum sites and Doctor Forum sites.

Public Forum sites are where users tend to help out other users (It’s typically consumer to consumer). There are minimal or no doctors participating or moderating the discussions in these sites. Advices in these sites are, needless to say, non-authoritative and from non-trust worthy sources. These sites may be useful in exchanging leads on doctors but are of little help beyond that. Most of the time, you do not get a response. Even when you get it after a few days, you don’t need the answer anymore.

Doctor forum sites come in many shades. There are sites which allow one to ask a question free to a doctor. Usually, doctors answer these questions as a “pro bono” service or in expectation of a walk-in. This model, though initially looks attractive, has a lot of flaws in it.

  • Since the doctors are not paid, the answers are very short and hurriedly written so it does not help the user much
  • Since the system is free, many questions never get answered
  • Doctors soon get “worn out” as the walk-in conversions are very poor
  • Most questions tend to be silly as users post anything since it is free
  • Maintaining an SLA for answers is difficult since the doctors won’t feel duty-bound to answer
  • Engaging a doctor in a conversation after the initial exchange of Q&A is difficult. So follow up questions are not possible.

The other model in the doctor forum is like ours at www.HealthcareMagic.com , wherein you pay to ask a question from a doctor. Needless to say, we did dabble with the free model in the beginning, burnt our fingers, learnt the lessons then launched the premium paid model.  Here the users have to pay but they get the following benefits:

  • Guaranteed answer within a couple of hours. If the user does not get response within 24 hours, the answer is for free
  • Detailed answer. If the user complains he did not like the answer, the doctor does not get paid
  • The users can ask follow up questions and it will be answered by the same specialist

Hello World

We thought it would be just about the right time to embrace the world of blogging to let you all know what we are up to and know how we can serve you all better. We are pretty excited about our journey so far and we’re seeing some really exciting stuff happening in the organization and in the industry.

Watch out this space for your regular dose of updates on HealthcareMagic and the online healthcare industry. We promise that you will not go disappointed!