The business was founded with a strong will to solve a real problem that impacts many in the country. The thought was kindled by the observation that people living in places beyond the major cities face tremendous troubles in finding a right doctor at the right time and subsequently suffer in securing treatment when they need it. Bangladesh is making significant progresses in many areas. Information technology, without any doubt has been instrumental in the transformation of people's way of doing things. We have seen bus, train or launch tickets being bought online. Online freelancing bringing new skills, confidence and earnings to thousands of youths. Noticeable boost in the e-commerce. Use of mobile money making lives better. Ironically, despite of being one of the most essential services, healthcare has not been focused with similar initiatives yet. There are still roadblocks disrupting smooth healthcare delivery even today. And, information technology has rarely been called up to effectively contribute in the sector.
The idea of Doctorola evolved into a service platform in early 2014. It was not what it is today in the initial days. It started as a doctor's directory along with a feature for appointment requests. After realizing that only accomplishing appointment bookings will not help much, the whole vision was revisited. We needed to offer more. We needed to build and maintain relationships with the patients and doctors to ensure smoother connection for the service. We needed to add new features and extend the whole platform to accommodate many things that people will never see working as the back office. Doctorola understands the individuality of each patient and their problem. The platform is capable of maintaining records of queries, appointments, visits and visit outcomes. With the aid of a huge knowledge base built and maintained within the platform, Doctorola can follow up and take extended care of their users for their unique problems. Further, for ensuring real time availability of the doctors at their chambers, a dedicated team constantly engages with the hospitals, clinics and chambers' management.
Doctorola aims to drive two very important behavioral changes that can make approaching treatment faster and better. In general, a common person in our country is quite unwilling to see a proper physician for his or her illness, until it gets too bad. People try out different suggestions from friends around them or conduct a self treatment based on other's experiences. This is mainly due to serious lack of awareness about the signs, symptoms, consequences of diseases and lack of proper guidance.
Secondly, when people want to approach treatment, they commonly get into the trouble of finding a right doctor. In most cases, they head to Dhaka or other big cities and ask their relatives or friends for help. Unfortunately, those relatives or friends typically know only a few doctor names. Those are generally the busiest doctors who are well known at the national level. Certainly, taking an appointment of those doctors are quite a hassle. One may need to wait even two-three months to consult the doctor.
This is again mainly because, there is not enough awareness about the availability of many qualified doctors across the country who could give attention and treat the patient earlier than the time he/she will wait for. These result in unnecessary delays aggravating the condition of the disease. Doctorola through its social network platform and many other means is continuously engaging to build the awareness among people to help these improve.
If we are to truly improve this with the right impact, we must focus on the people at the rural or in small cities. Providing and extending this service to the rural people of Bangladesh requires a lot of resources and activities. And, it isn't easy with the limited resources.
Since the official launching on 31st October 2015, Doctorola is operational with full capacity in regard to providing appointments from doctors around the country. The service hosts information and appointment facilities for more than 9633 doctors from 555 consultation centers in 63 districts. We have served a few thousand patients so far and have been able to bring smiles on their faces.
The service is completely free for anyone getting an appointment through Doctorola. One can easily get the information or appointment of a doctor either by visiting Doctorola.com or just by calling the hotline 16484 any day between 8am to 11pm.
At Doctorola, we are confident to make a difference in how people of Bangladesh approach healthcare services. We have plans to integrate many other related services with the doctors' appointment in the platform in coming days. The investment from BD Venture has given the initiative more speed. Now, it's all about execution of the dreams to bring goodness out for everyone in the country.