A new app for doctors created after a life-saving medical collaboration is now in the Philippines to help Filipino healthcare professionals further their career path.
It’s aptly (no pun intended) dubbed Docquity (Doctors Equity), and introduced in the country in a launch in Makati City.
Running the app is Singapore-based Docquity Holdings, Pte. Ltd., which had already introduced the app in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Now, it is in the Philippines as Amit Vithal, the company’s chief operating officer, led the launch at Discovery Primea.
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In an interview, the Indian engineer revealed their objective with the app.
“What we are trying to do is we are trying to build a trusted peer network of doctors for collaborative continuing learning where doctors can share life clinical experiences, discuss clinical cases, and be able to continuously enhance themselves through an official professional development process,” Vithal pointed out.
The app’s membership is growing, one may say, fast.
It now boasts of over 60,000 doctors across Southeast Asia, who had discussed more than 70,000 actual patient cases on the platform.
“In terms of CPD (continuing professional development) points across the region, we have already given 130,000 CPD points,” he revealed.
Docquity’s continuing medical education (CME) is an offer that will provide Filipino health workers (only doctors and licensed ones for now) an online venue to secure their CPD points.
Not only CME, the app also offers clinical discussions, peer consultations and medico-legal support for doctors as it functions as “dedicated and exclusive social media app for doctors.”
Vithal recalled how he and a colleague came up with the idea about a network of doctors who can help each other in various ways concerning their work.
He said in 2011 the father of one of his partners in the company had a massive cardiac arrest in India, and doctors gave up on the patient.
“But one of the young doctors (treating the patient) ended calling up someone in the United States, and this doctor suggested a line of treatment and they injected a medicine into his heart, and he got saved,” he narrated.
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On that day, he said they realized that a community of doctors who can discuss real-time a patient case among themselves what’s taking place can really help them a lot. “So, that’s how the idea came into our mind.”
At present, Docquity, the only app of its kind accredited by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), counts on as members the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), Indonesian Medical Association (IMA), Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), and the Medical Association of Thailand (MAT).
“We just launched in the Philippines; we aim to get 30,000 doctors in three months,” he said.
Anywhere in the world, doctors and other medical professionals, including nurses, dentists, medical technologists, etc., are required by law to continuously update their CME and their CPD to keep abreast with new developments in healthcare. Docquity now comes in handy as it also partnered with the PMA. It also partners with Vireo Loadworks, Inc., a local mobile phone loading app to support its growth and expansion in the Philippines.
Apparently, Docquity Holdings selected Vireo Loadworks for its experience.
“Our vast local experience and expertise in technical mobile platforms were the primary consideration for Docquity to partner with us, not to mention our good relationship with leading doctor communities here such as the Philippine Medical Association and the Philippine Health Association, among others,” Dr. Loysa Orense, Vireo Loadworks president, said.
She described their partnership as “a first and a pioneering project.”
Membership or subscription to Docquity is free, says Vithal, as the mother company focuses on building the ecosystem, and adding value as it runs.
“Every time you create an ecosystem in a particular vertical, there are many ways to monetize it. So, right now, the focus is we want to do it step by step…monetizing will happen (later),” he said.
“That’s something we will discuss going forward, but making it free for doctors.”
At the moment, the app has 40,000 doctor members in Indonesia, 10,000 in Malaysia, still few in Thailand, and a sprinkling in the Philippines as it has just been launched on April 27. The app is strong as well in Singapore, its mother company’s headquarters. But it has big plans ahead.
Once the registered members reached at least 200,000 across the network, Amit said they will open it across countries, meaning the members from every part of the world can communicate with each other in real-time through text messaging (SMS), voice and video over a secure, private line.
For now, the strategy for the app is being operated per country, it does not cross borders; meaning members in the Philippines can only communicate among themselves.
He said it is in some ways similar to social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, because it is a virtual community. But not really.
While the three social networks are open to all, Docquity is a closed platform, only medical practitioners are accepted as members.
Vithal said they may accept nurses and other health workers in the future, but not now at present.
It was officially launched in August 2015, and end of 2016 in Indonesia.
“We want to build a global community of doctors, a private community of doctors. We can have a Philippine community (on the platform), we can have a global community as well,” he said.
Imagine, Vithal said, a patient is being diagnosed or treated in some remote areas in the Philippines, and then the patient information is seen by doctors in Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, it’s launch in the Philippines is related also to doctors’ difficulty in obtaining CPD points.
“We want to serve the huge market here in the country since according to our extreme research, it’s difficult for a doctor to acquire CPD units because of their very busy schedules and limited options,” he said.
Thus, Docquity will address their specific needs as a platform for easy access, safe and trusted learning environment through the convenience of their smartphones and other handy devices.
The app can be downloaded at Google Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS devices.