India has more Internet users than China or the U.S. and thanks to the surge in smartphone users in the past few years, apps such as Practo are seeing greater acceptance. The app can be used to search for clinics and doctors in your local area and will allow the user to book appointments with their chosen healthcare practitioner. The app can be downloaded for free on both the Android and iOS platforms.
How it works
Once a user logs in, within India they will have 100 cities to choose from. Once you pick a city you can view doctors and clinics in each area. There are three main tabs to choose from on the home screen which make the app very easy to use.
The first tab focuses on Speciality. For the user, this is the most important feature of the Practo app. With each city having over 200 specialities to choose from, the user is spoilt for choice. After you pick a speciality you are shown a card for each doctor which shows areas such as the doctor’s experience, consultation fee, clinic address and an important feature: customer feedback. With the rise of users with smartphones, such a feature will help other potential patients see how patients felt about a particular practitioner’s work.
With the rise of social media, it is only natural to see that another field found in every doctor’s card on the Practo app is the ‘like’ button. This is another tool which could be used to build a community of patients who can review their healthcare practitioner. This sort of action has not been seen in the Indian healthcare market until now, where previously the process was centered around the doctor and now, thanks to the Practo app among others, healthcare is quickly becoming more patient-centric.
The wide range of ratings and reviews for each healthcare provider helps users make a decision that would be right for them. The app is bringing transparency into the decision-making process and in the healthcare sector, awareness is one of the most important features.
Once the user clicks on a particular healthcare practitioner’s card, they will be directed to the second screen where further details for the doctor can be found. This screen will also allow the user to view the appointment timings and free spots available for booking an appointment. The screen will also inform the patient about any other hospitals where the doctor may be practising.
The second tab as well as the third tab allows the user to search for any clinics or doctors that they may wish to know more about. The Practo app also provides a dashboard that can be personalized to keep track of any appointments you may have made.
The filter option gives truly personalized results. When you search for a healthcare provider or clinic, you can tailor the search to suit your fee preferences. The app even provides doctors with free consultations.
The other filter options include the days of the week in which the doctor is available, for example, users who cannot step away from work during the week will search for doctors who see patients over the weekend.
You can also filter for gender preference of the doctor, as well as the time of day during which the doctor can see you, for example certain people can only see the doctor early in the day or very late in the evening and some doctors only practice for a few hours a day at their clinic, spending the rest of the time at hospitals.
Another feature of the Practo app is the location feature. This feature lets the Practo app link to Google maps in your phone to bring you all the doctors or clinics located near you. All you need to do is turn on the GPS in your phone.
Practo is the one stop destination for patients to find their healthcare provider and find out all the information about their doctor while being able to seamlessly book appointments through the app. In a country such as India where finding a suitable doctor can be a herculean task, the Practo app fills a much needed gap in the market between patient and doctor.
As of 2015, 10 million users in India were using Practo’s search engine to find healthcare providers and of the total traffic, two-thirds was coming via smartphone users. Practo has expanded to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines and most recently to Brazil, and hopes to enter more countries in Southeast Asia soon.
In addition to doctors, Practo also helps its users find pharmacies, spas, fitness and yoga centers and gyms. Since Practo is home to a lot of sensitive medical data, its data center is hosted on Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud and complies with the most stringent global security standards.