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We’re eyeing futuristic tech like machine learning: Shashank, Practo

Madhav Mohan | June 29, 2016
We plan to acquire or invest in more futuristic technologies like machine learning, genome technology, wellness and fitness, says Shashank ND, the founder and CEO of Practo.

Edited excerpts:

How will Practo cope up with network connectivity when Internet penetration in tier 3 cities is not high? How can telecom operators play a role in aiding remote healthcare?

Today, it is true that mobile broadband has not been fully covered in our country, but we believe that India will get there soon. Today, we have around 30 percent of our traffic coming from tier 2 and 3 towns, so we can say that the Internet has reached some parts of these cities.

From the B2B side, our product Practo Tab runs our entire Practo Ray software in offline mode; hence doctors and other healthcare providers can use it in this mode and then synchronize it back with the cloud once they get connectivity. Our tablet is doing well in tier 2 and tier 3 towns and adoption in these areas is higher than the urban centers.  This is another way to combat lack of Internet in certain pockets.

Talking about telecom operators, I think they have a huge opportunity because mobile broadband and mobile devices may be the only computing and internet access consumers will have. With 3G and 4 G expanding rapidly, the issues with respect to connectivity will improve.

What is Practo's go-to market strategy?

In terms of our go-to market strategy, we look for markets where we can make the maximum impact on people's lives. We look mainly at markets with high out-of-pocket healthcare spends, low access to quality healthcare and lack of legacy IT systems so that we can unify the system on the supply side. 

How do you ensure that patients get access to bona fide doctors?

We enable consumers to discover the right healthcare provider and make sure that we are able to provide all the information they need to make this decision.  In order to achieve it, we have our team that hits the road to sign up the doctor and physically verify them and their clinics. Also, our robust verification process includes verifying their degrees and certificates with the local boards and relevant medical authorities.

Only once they pass this verification process do they list on Practo.  At the same time, we have Practo Feedback, where consumers can read feedback from other patients and make up their mind about which doctor to visit. 

What is the unique differentiator between Practo and other healthcare startups? 

Practo has pioneered the disruptive Healthcare Hyperloop model that has transformed the healthcare market by aggregating consumer demand and connecting it with healthcare providers who provide high quality care. 

Our technology and product teams are constantly pushing the envelope of what we can deliver to our consumers. We have the unique advantage of having built a globally respected strong B2B software product (Practo Ray) that is tightly integrated with our consumer offering (Practo Search).


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