The homegrown medical consultation app is making doctors from top hospitals accessible and available to patients, especially in non-urban India.
While big cities make access to quality healthcare easy, they often make reaching out to the ‘friendly neighbourhood doctor’ difficult.
And this is because, a) there may not be a conventional neighbourhood, especially if you reside in Mumbai, b) there may not be a friendly physician down the road, and c) they may refuse a home visit because healthcare in metros is more formal, process-driven, and of course, heavy on the pocket. So, even for a bout of flu, you might have to trek to the nearest hospital, fix up an appointment, and wait for hours to see the doctor.
This is when you wonder what if you had a 24x7 doctor on demand whom you could summon with just a few taps on the smartphone? And summon them even at any unearthly hour? (All they need is a 30-minute notice.) Then, consult with him/her online, book lab tests (if required) and/or order medicines - all with a single app?
The thing is…you can. DocsApp has made this a reality for Indians since 2015.
An ISO Certified medical app, DocsApp lets patients of all age groups consult specialist doctors round-the-clock over chat or call. Consultations across 18 key disciplines, including dermatology, diabetes, gastroenterology, gynaecology, paediatrics, orthopaedics, general medicine, psychiatry, cardiology, oncology, and neurology are available. You can even schedule diagnostic tests or get them done at home. Samples are collected from your house and reports are delivered on the app. You can also upload past health reports, photos of scans/X-Rays, and prescriptions to order medicines.
DocsApp claims to have over 3.5 million users from across India, with 60 percent coming from Tier II and Tier III towns. More than 3,000 doctors from leading hospital chains including Apollo, Fortis, Narayana Health, and others consult on the platform, and 72 percent of patient requests are resolved online; the remaining lead to offline consultations.
It has recorded five million-plus Android downloads and is the #4 app in the ‘Medical’ category of Google Play Store. In 2017, Amazon and Facebook recognised DocsApp as the #1 Medical App of the Year. In 2018, the platform crossed a million consultations, and is aiming to reach five million by 2020.
Let’s dig into DocsApp now.
You can sign-up with a phone number and email, and earn Rs 20 DocsApp Cash, which can be used to pay doctors’ consultation fees.
Next, you enter the patient profile - age, gender, health issue, etc - either yours or a family member’s or friend’s.
You can select from a list of medical issues.
A notification is sent to you once DocsApp matches you with a specialist doctor.
Once a doctor has been assigned, a chat window auto opens. The ‘Doctor’s Assistant’ asks you a set of preliminary questions.
In order to proceed with the consultation, you have to pay the doctor fees. Click on the ‘call’ icon to confirm a consultation, and make a payment.
Select a plan. A single consultation costs Rs 399, six consultations (with the same or different doctor) over a one-year period is available at Rs 899, and a DocsApp Gold subscription priced at Rs 999 earns you and your family ‘free unlimited consultations’ with all doctors.
DocsApp accepts payments through credit/debit cards, net banking, Paytm and PhonePe. It guarantees 100 percent refund if the patient is not satisfied.
You can see the doctor profiles, languages they consult in, their education, area of expertise, years of experience, and hospitals they are associated with, patient reviews and ratings, and a short introductory video.
The doctor reaches you on chat within 15 to 30 minutes of your payment. We tried a consultation at 1.30 am, and it worked. During the chat, you can click and/or upload photos or share PDF files to elucidate your medical issue to the doctor.
Besides the consultation, DocsApp also lets you order medicines.
The Lab Tests section lets you book tests and other health check-ups. You can reach out to DocsApp Customer Support for a more personalised service.
There is a ‘Self Help’ section too that allows you to take tests, get quick health tips, diet charts, etc.
You can also keep track of your recent consultations and other activities.
And add your medical records from lab reports to prescriptions and invoices.
There is also a referral system that allows you to earn DocsApp cash.
DocsApp allows you to change language as well. Choose from the sidebar menu. At present, the app supports only English and Hindi.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that DocsApp is possibly the most holistic app-based personal healthcare platform in India right now. It solves a critical pain point: accessibility and availability of doctors anytime, anywhere.
It has the potential to touch all of us at some point in our life, because, after all, everyone falls ill and not always are they in a position to physically visit the doctor.
Sure, some might suggest that chat-based consultations don’t work for complicated ailments. But, a simple discussion with a specialised doctor who’s available on demand does no harm. Add to that the convenience of scheduling a diagnostic test at your doorstep and ordering medicines.
On the aesthetic side, DocsApp has a smooth, uncomplicated interface and comes with a chat window that looks like WhatsApp, thus making it more user-friendly. And, it is available on Android, iOS and web platforms.
What’s not to like?