Practo, an online health-tech platform connecting patients with doctors, announced Wednesday its partnership with one of the largest social networking platforms, Twitter, to bring healthcare solutions to people in real time. Twitter users can apparently get answers to their medical queries from verified doctors and experts almost instantly with a simple tweet.
Practo launched the @AskPracto Twitter handle, where users can send their queries to doctors on Practo Consult, a platform which connects consumers with doctors to get authentic answers on various healthcare problems for free. The company said the new service will be available for users in India, the Philippines and Singapore in English, and gradually expand to other countries and languages.
"This is a first of its kind solution in the world and we're building this right here in India. The ease of access and simplicity will be disruptive in how people access healthcare information, [sic]" Shashank ND, founder and CEO of Practo, said in a statement. "We're really delighted to partner with Twitter to bring this solution to our consumers and help millions live healthier, longer lives."
Practo Consult is already available on various platforms, including Android, iOS, Web and m-web. The new partnership between Practo and Twitter will go live on World Health Day, April 7.
While this partnership enables users to get real-time answers to healthcare-related problems, it also poses a challenge for users who wish to keep their problems discreet or post questions more than 140 characters. Twitter has the option of sending private messages through DM (Direct Messages), but it can be done only with anyone who follows you.
Shashank told International Business Times, India: "In the last two months, we've run some initiatives on World Cancer Day and [International] Women's Day, where we had renowned doctors on Practo Consult answering questions live. During this we had tens of thousands of people who asked us questions on Twitter. That was how we started thinking about the partnership. Having said that, of course we take patient privacy extremely seriously and consumers can always come straight to Practo Consult and ask their questions anonymously."
Practo Consult on apps and the web allows users to send lengthy questions exceeding 140 characters and also maintain anonymity.
Practo, which was started as a doctor-discovery platform, launched several services such as doctor consultation and medical delivery. Practo is free for users to search for doctors, clinics and even book an appointment. Doctors can also list themselves or their clinics on the platform for free. The company's primary revenue sources are Practo Ray and Practo Reach, both of which are subscription services for doctors and hospitals, according to LiveMint.
Practo launched its operations in Brazil in March, offering its products Practo Search and Practo Ray in English and Portuguese. During an interview with IBTimes, India in February, Shashank had said the company's major focus is the South Asian market and that it aims to increase its presence in emerging markets.
Practo is currently available in 15 countries and over 50 cities around the world. The platform claims to have a collective database of 200,000 doctors, 10,000 hospitals, 8,000 diagnostic centres and over 4,000 wellness centers. It receives more than 10 million searches a month on both its website and apps and helps book over 40 million appointments a year.