The onset of COVID-19 has sparked unprecedented innovation across the healthcare spectrum, including the fast adoption of advanced technologies that affect business outcomes and the patient experience. Okadoc is an all-in-one patient engagement platform located in the UAE that enables clinicians to communicate with their patients in real-time. Founded in 2018, the platform now works in three countries: UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. It allows health systems to provide a wide range of services, including 24/7 self-scheduling and telemedicine, as well as a marketplace and payment options.
For health systems and plans, Okadoc is a technology partner that increases operational efficiency, improving patient engagement and retention. For patients, it’s an all-in-one platform that digitises the experience and provides access to quality care, resulting in better health outcomes.
Named among the GCC’s top 100 inspiring leaders of 2019 by Arabian Business Magazine and listed in the same magazine’s ‘40 entrepreneurs and business leaders under 40’, we spoke to Fodhil Benturquia, Founder & CEO of Okadoc about how the best-funded health tech startup in the GCC aims to improve the healthcare experience for all.
How is Okadoc facilitating operational efficiency, improving patient engagement and retention? How does this ensure seamless workflow and how big of a role does AI and automation play in this?
Okadoc’s goal from its inception is to improve the healthcare experience for all. When founding Okadoc, our mission was to address two critical pain points for both patients and health care providers. The first was addressing the patient no-show rate. The second was to ease the booking process and reduce the time to book an appointment with a doctor.
We’ve tackled these two issues by developing the region’s only instant doctor platform that is directly integrated with the healthcare providers electronic medical records (EMR), meaning patients can view real-time doctor availabilities, instantly book appointments, receive reminders, reschedule, cancel, or even request reminders for earlier availability.
Through our integration, we are also able to manage 100 per cent of a healthcare provider’s appointments – removing burdens on call centers and allowing all patients (whether they book online or at the call center) to take ownership of their appointments with ease, including outside of traditional call center hours.
The platform also enables healthcare providers to offer safe and secure virtual consultations to their patients from the comfort and safety of their own homes, including document sharing and online chat to seamlessly connect patients and doctors.
The result is an efficient and seamless healthcare experience, increasing patient satisfaction, improving operational efficiencies, and creating new revenue streams.
Fodhil Benturquia, Founder & CEO, Okadoc
Why is it important more now than ever to be a one-stop-shop to engage and retain patients in today’s world?
Patient engagement is a must for healthcare organisations that want to deliver higher-quality care and improved outcomes. By providing a one-stop-shop for patients to seamlessly connect with their doctors across the entire patient journey, we’re increasing access to and better managing patient care.
Today multiple apps are offering multiple solutions (appointment booking, telehealth, reminders, referrals, etc). Most patients would rather go to one destination where they can access all solutions and have a more unified/consistent user experience. Providers also prefer using one platform where they can engage with their patients and easily access all patient health information. The result is less time spent actioning manual tasks (dealing with multiple systems) and more time spent caring for patients. In the end, an engaged patient means better health outcomes – they become more invested in their health and remain connected to their doctors.
Digitalisation in healthcare has been deemed necessary yet the transition has been accelerated in some aspects yet lacking in others. Can you comment on how necessary it is for products and platforms such as Okadoc to lead the journey of advancements in healthcare?
Technology is reshaping the relationship between patients, healthcare providers, and health insurance companies. This transformational change in the healthcare industry is taking place because people are becoming empowered and conditioned to using digital tools in every aspect of life – from booking flights to ordering food or using online banking. Again, for healthcare organisations to deliver high-quality care and improve health and business outcomes, they must adapt to this digital revolution.
Platforms such as Okadoc can partner with healthcare organisations to achieve their digital transformation objectives on an ongoing basis.
Data is a powerful tool; how can it provide necessary overhauls for a better patient experience?
At Okadoc, everything we do leverages the data we are collecting. It better informs our business and helps us adapt to what patients and healthcare organisations need to be healthy and successful. For example, by understanding what times patients engage with our platform and what services they are booking, we can better equip our partners to make business decisions, for example, adjustments to admin staff, increasing availability of doctors and service offerings. Data informs intelligent decision-making, and that’s exactly what the industry needs in this era of healthcare delivery.
As the best-funded health tech start-up in the GCC, Okadoc has grown exponentially, what is next on the cards?
We’ll continue to focus on growing our business, deepening our work in UAE and KSA, and growing into other markets too. In addition, Okadoc has introduced new service offerings, such as COVID testing, vaccinations, and home healthcare to ensure patients get the access to care that they deserve.
Ultimately, our vision is to make the healthcare experience better for everyone involved. We’ll continue to solve problems with the power of technology. We hope that everyone, globally, will be able to book a doctor in 35 seconds or less.