This is no news that doctors have often been extremely careless in their tasks and towards their patients. In fact, doctors are not to be trusted anymore, often they use their knowledge and skills for sole moneymaking purposes. In such times of crisis, Xpertnation comes with a light of hope for the patients. Patients can now take second opinion about their medical condition, their ongoing treatments.
XpertNation offers a second opinion based on an in-depth, comprehensive review of the case by some of the best specialists in the medical field.
The inspiration behind Xpertnation
Vasantha Gullapalli, the developer comes from a family full of doctors and as luck would have it, they were also a family with quite a few rather complicated chronic medical issues.
The inspiration for something like this came when her mother was going through health issues, Vasantha says, “I remember being part of that roller coaster ride and also remember how we often got a second opinion by making a quick phone call or by reaching out to someone across the town.”
Most of the time these second opinions helped them feel reassured about the path they were in and helped the patient be more confident and positive which they say improves the outcome of any treatment. There were also times when these advices helped the family make some critical course corrections and most recently helped them get through the not so easy end of life issues and dilemmas. All along, the developer realized that they were the lucky few who had such proximity and access to such qualified medical professionals and often wondered how the common people dealt with such situations.
Ms. Gullapalli always wanted to explore ideas on how one could use technology to help people better manage their medical journey and perhaps make them less painful than what they currently are. Subsequently, around the time they moved back to India in 2010, she observed how internet usage and social media usage was picking up steam in India, which led her to introduce her first product- myMEDistry which is a healthcare based social network. They saw interesting usage patterns and the surveys conducted on the platform showed even more interesting trends.
Surveys they conducted on these users showed even more interesting results. More than 70% of patients in India consult a doctor based on an informal referral from a friend of a family member. Less than 50% of them are confident about the care they are getting from their primary doctor. This is not because of the caliber of the doctor treating them, but more because they have no way of getting a reassurance. In India, there is one doctor for every 1700 patients. While Indians have made great progress in the healthcare options available, the process to seek a credible medical referral or the access to the right specialist at the right time is still very un-organized and unpredictable. Access to internet is more wide-spread than access to a qualified medical specialist. Using internet as an effective medium, XpertNation tries to connect patients in need with a credible specialist in a timely manner.
How does this platform work
The site has 3 main features :
Secure Digital Medical Records Storage: This is free of cost
Knowledge Base: Content rich knowledge base that is created and curated by the Xpertnation panellists to address some of the most frequently asked questions and dilemmas within each specialty. This is free of cost as well.
Xpertquery: Quick and short questions about which specialty to consult etc.
Xpertconsult and Xpertpremium are the full review of your medical records to provide a comprehensive recommendation by an expert on the panel panel. This is a paid service
The journey so far
Early Adopters are primarily 30 +, internet savvy users who are involved in the healthcare decisions of their families or themselves. Primary marketing strategies involved were the word of mouth, SEO, SMM, Newspaper Flyers, Educational/Awareness Building events
Market research involved
Market Research on internet usage patterns was done and then certain specific surveys to better understand what is it that people are looking for or their biggest pain point during their medical journey. They found out that 48% in rural India and 72% in urban areas heard of mobile health (mHealth) and One third Indians (39 per cent) go online for health information.
Further they also figured that more than 70% of patients in India consult a doctor based on an informal referral from a friend of a family member and less than 50% of them are confident about the care they are getting from their primary doctor.
The Xpertnation team
The product is entirely Ms. Gullapalli’s brain child. However, she took the help of freelancers along the way to fill a gap. This was a conscious decision she took earlier on to keep costs low to built and run something that is sustainable long term. This worked because she was technically competent enough to build majority of the application and needed help in some areas like design, marketing, etc., However, as they built traction Gullapalli planned to hire some customer management professionals to work with customers and 1-2 technical developers to work on newer features while she focused on expanding the panel and customer acquisition and customer service.
The challenges involved
The biggest challenge was in identifying the specialists that fit the criteria in terms of calibre, experience, ethics and professionalism. Once the team got over this hurdle, the next one was in reaching out to the people (both patients and doctors) educating them on the importance of seeking second opinions
The experts at Xpertnation are thorough professionals and provide complete, accurate, and relevant medical information that matters to our clients. They are not a platform that is trying to pitch one doctor against the other. On the contrary, they feel in many cases the primary doctor itself can use their service to get a credible expert opinion in a timely fashion, thus helping the families make more informed decisions.
While medicine is a science, it is not an exact science and a lot of times, doctors rely on their own experience in treating some rather complicated cases. In such situations, XpertNation also empowers the doctor community by providing them a streamlined access to highly experienced experts who can review their case and provide a credible recommendation in a timely manner.
How to be a part of the Xpertnation team
Doctor can contact the Xpertnation team and send their profile along with a brief writeup on why they want to be on the panel. The advisory board and management team will review the case and contact with him/her to further evaluate before they make a decision
The future Plans
Official launch happened on Dec 18th 2013. Their immediate focus is on customer acquisition. In the pipeline are:
-Educational/Awareness Building events
-Adding more specialties
-Focus on reaching to tier-2/tier-3 cities
-Platform more comprehensive
i. Mobile product
iii. Other strategic partnerships
Xpertnation is a verly noble thought indeed. In the times of personal crisis, a second opinion from experts can not only rekindle hope but only helps in confidently carrying out the process, or changing tracks- whichever necessary. It’s a thumbs up from the TTP team!