A new online startup that commenced in June 2012 in the United Arab Emirates aims to provide a caring service to its patients. DoctorUna is an online English and Arabic bilingual business that offers a free service to its patients by allowing them to book appointments with doctors online. It permits patients to quickly search for doctors across a wide range of expertise, compare them, and easily book a suitable appointment.
Yaasen Dalal, the Chief Executive of this beneficiary service was inspired to start this website because of the difficulties in finding doctors in Dubai and the region. He told Tfour.me that “I was attending a wedding in Beirut and I suffered a backache. When I came to Dubai, I found it really hard to reach the doctors, and I thought to myself that if one can book hotels online, then why not doctor appointments? This has been my inspiration to start DoctorUna.”
DoctorUna bridges the gap between doctors and patients by bringing them in closer contact, and bringing them together with benefits. When asked how that works, Yaasen Dalal affirmed that “patients search for specific doctor requirements by location, area and expertise, and since the service becomes available to them for 24 hours, they can make appointments anytime outside office hours.” He further added that “We have an automated SMSs and email reminders that we send to patients who may have forgotten about their appointments. In addition, doctors benefit by attending new patients and having access to a larger group, which in turn helps them in structuring and organizing better appointments, so that they can spend considerable time looking after their patients.”
DoctorUna does not deal with emergency appointments, and suggests seeing a specialist if there is one. Till this day, DoctorUna has signed up with 190 doctors and clinics, and there are ten appointments made every day. Yaasen Dalal stated that “We are making money from this website by charging an annual fee of Dhs 6,500 per doctor per year, and there is no charge to the patient.”
With the website’s focus on connecting the patients and doctors more closely than ever before, and with a pool of information available to doctors, Yaasen Dalal told “We do not have any competitors, and we are first of our kind because of the ways in which we provide a listing of doctors by area, location and specialty.” DoctorUna plans to expand its business throughout the Middle East. ”First, the rest of the UAE outside Dubai, then Cairo and Amman in Jordan, and then the rest of the GCC. By this time next year, we should be in a position to cover the entire Mena region”. With this expansion, DoctorUna also aims to grow bigger and better with the specialties it offers.