Find a Doctor and Rate Your Consultation Thanks to Meddy
ArabNet previously published a list of health apps from the MENA that caught our attention.
We recently came across yet another player in the region’s e-health market: Meddy. Like Egypt’s DrBridge, this Qatar-born platform helps people find doctors based on community reviews and credentials. It provides doctor profiles, doctor reviews, waiting times, as well as clinic locations.
Pioneering e-Health in Qatar
The service is the brainchild of Haris Aghadi, who had come up with the concept for his final year project at university.
A Pakistani national, Aghadi was born and raised in Qatar. He attended Carnegie Mellon there, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems with a minor in business entrepreneurship.
He graduated in August of 2014, and simultaneously beta launched Meddy to the public, merely six weeks after he had gotten the idea for it. Fast forward another two months and Meddy had exited beta and launched in its full version.
During research, Aghadi found out that there were around 600 private clinics in Qatar, but only a third of them had any sort of online presence. What’s more, he noted that customers occasionally had trouble reaching those clinics. Phone lines can be very limiting as they cannot accommodate surges in demand. In any case, failing to connect to a clinic meant that the customer was very likely to go somewhere else.
Initially the company set out to find doctors and clinics on social networks, and introduced them to the service. “Over the past ten months however, doctors and clinics have been coming to us,” said Aghadi.
Right now the service lists over 1,000 from 130 clinics available on its platform. In the past year it totaled about 100,000 visitors; right now it attracts about 15,000 monthly visitors. Aghadi said all their growth has been organic, and the company hasn’t spent any money on advertising.
Meddy charges based on leads generated, with an average of 50 to 60 bookings each day. It also generates revenues from targeted ads. So far the company has been bootstrapping its operations, but the founders are actively looking to raise funds from investors.
Assessing the Market for E-Appointments
Research by Accenture predicted that roughly two in three patients (around 64%) are expected to book medical appointments online by the end of 2019, which would generate $3.2 billion in added value or potential savings for US health systems.
Competition for Meddy in the region will most likely come from its older cousin, the Dubai-based DoctorUna. For now, Meddy is limited to the Qatar market where it is the only service of its kind there. The startup is just over a year old, but Aghadi said they will also start looking to expand beyond their borders in the coming year.
On the other hand, DoctorUna has been around since 2012 and has the Qatar platform literally surrounded. It has established a presence in 6 adjoining markets where it operates: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. A clash seems inevitable when (or if) either company enters its rival’s market.
Aghadi was keen to highlight Meddy’s focus on customer reviews as the key differentiator from other competing services. Right now the service is available only in English, as its target market has been primarily centered on expats in the Qatar. Naturally, the next step is to target the local audience, and an Arabic version of the site is expected to be ready within the next few months.
The Meddy team has also picked up on heavy traffic coming from iOS devices and are working on releasing a mobile app.