Bringing healthcare to the masses: Practo app is revolutionary
Created in India in 2009, Practo is a healthcare app that aims to bring healthcare to the masses. The aim of the app is simple: bring healthcare to every patient in the country. The revolutionary app has grown rapidly in the last few years, bringing together 200000 healthcare practitioners, 200000 doctors, 8000 diagnostic centers, 10000 hospitals, and 4000 wellness centers.
In a country such as India, it is often difficult for every patient to know which doctor to approach, and they often rely on word-of-mouth as a way to find their doctor. This can be an unreliable method and sometimes patients simply don’t have enough information to make an informed decision.
Using Practo, millions of patients can today find a medical professional that is best suited to them using a range of tools that the app offers. In a country with over a billion people, this is certainly a step in the right direction.
A great feature of the Practo app, which makes it stand out in a large country such as India, is the location feature. By turning on the GPS function on your phone, users can allow the Practo app to link to Google maps on their phone, making it possible to show the user all the healthcare practitioners or wellness centers located near them.
Currently available on the iOS and Android platforms, the Practo app can be used in 100 Indian cities. It is also available in a few countries outside India including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and most recently, Brazil. The app hopes to soon be available in more countries in Southeast Asia.
As of 2015, 10 million users in India were using Practo’s search engine to find healthcare providers and two-thirds of the total traffic was coming via smartphone users.
The app can be downloaded for free on both the Android and iOS platforms. The idea behind the app is that a user can search for clinics and doctors in their local area and can then book an appointment with the practitioner of their choice.
After logging in, a user within India, for example, will have 100 cities to choose from. Once a user picks a city, they will be shown all the doctors and clinics in that area. The app is very user-friendly and easy to use with three main tabs to choose from on the home screen.
The first tab that the user sees is the Speciality tab. This is a vital feature of the Practo app and since each city has over 200 specialities, the user is spoilt for choice.
Once a speciality has been picked, the user is shown an informative card for every doctor that shows how experienced they are, their consultation fee, the clinic address, and what customer feedback they have received. The feedback feature will help potential patients see how satisfied other patients found a practitioner’s work.
Another field found on every doctor’s card is the ‘like’ button. The ‘like’ button can be seen as a tool that can be used to build a community of patients, similar to the patient feedback section. These are some of the features that show how the Practo app is built to be increasingly centered around the patient.
The app is helping to bring transparency into the decision-making process, and by looking at the reviews for each doctor or wellness center, a patient is able to make a more informed decision.
When the user clicks on the card of a healthcare practitioner, they will be able to see further details for that doctor. This screen shows each doctor’s appointment timings and free spots that are available for booking. The screen will also inform the user about any other hospitals where the doctor might be practicing.
If a user wants to find out more about any clinics or doctors in a particular area, then the second and third tabs allow them to do so. If you have multiple appointments that you need to keep track of, the dashboard can be personalized to do so.
Another great feature of the Practo app is the filter option which gives you truly personalized results. When searching for a healthcare provider or clinic, the user can adjust the search to suit any preferences. For example, if you have a limit on how much you can pay for a consultation, the Practo app even lists doctors who offer free consultations.
For users who have a problem meeting with a doctor during particular days of the week, the search results can be filtered to show specific days of the week when a doctor is available.
The gender of the doctor is also a preference that users can make use of to find a suitable practitioner. Another great filter option is the time of day when a doctor can meet patients. This will be a useful option for users who can only see the doctor early in the day or late in the evening. Some doctors only practice for a few hours a day at their clinic, spending more time at hospitals.
Thanks to India now having more Internet users than China or the U.S. and due to the surge in smartphone users in the past few years, apps such as Practo are seeing greater acceptance. The Practo app is an all-encompassing, end-to-end solution provider for patients who are looking to find a suitable healthcare provider and want to find out all the information about a practitioner while also being able to seamlessly book appointments.
Finding a suitable doctor can be a herculean task in countries such as India, and the Practo app is helping to bridge the gap between patient and doctor.
Along with doctors, Practo also helps its users find pharmacies, spas, yoga centers, and gyms. The app has also given a lot of importance to securing patient’s data since it is home to a lot of sensitive medical data. Its data center is hosted on Amazon.com, Inc.’s cloud and complies with the highest global security standards. Investors believe the end-to-end capability of Practo is what will bring it long-term success.