The Silicon Review
Humanity has been transformed with the advent of the internet. Now, with the incorporation of mobile and smart devices, all verticals are undergoing a critical phase of digital transformation. Healthcare is one of the sectors that is changing at a rapid pace, and quite understandingly so. With the physical healthcare infrastructure pushed to the absolute limits, the current pandemic has taught us the value of evolved and better healthcare solutions. TruDoc24x7, which is demonstrating how technology can be utilized to deliver quality healthcare through in-house medical team.
TruDoc 24x7 provides immediate access to highly trained and licensed doctors, wellness experts and psychologists via voice/video calls, live chat as well as on-site doctor visits for preventive, urgent and chronic care management. With over 4.4 million paid subscribers in multiple countries and over 6,700 multinational corporate clients, including insurance carriers, governments, brokerage firms, and TPAs, telecom providers, pharmacies, and more, TruDoc Healthcare has revolutionized the healthcare segment in UAE.
The company, led by a visionary leader, Raouf Khalil (Founder and CEO), is now setting its sights on expanding its presence to the African continent. In a brief interview with us, Mr. Khalil discussed the company’s innovations and its future plans. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
Q. There is a vast discrepancy in healthcare costs – when comparisons are drawn between reality and the forecast. How is TruDoc 24x7 addressing this?
TruDoc 24x7 is a leading 24x7 Care Level Management Delivery System Provider with four integrated 24x7 Healthcare Entry Points connected to our 24x7 Telemedicine Control Center. Entry Points include Integrated Mobile Application when traveling, Health & Wellness On-Site Virtual Clinics when at the office, Hospitalist Program when at the hospital, and Hospital at Home Program with 24x7 Telemonitoring when at home. Although TruDoc 24x7 is a one-stop-shop for Healthy, Acute and Chronic members, TruDoc recognizes the fact that 20% of the chronic population consumes 82% of medical expenditures and that Telemedicine alone does not work for high risk chronic patients.
What sets TruDoc 24x7 apart from other competitors in the segment is the focus on this 20% chronic population by connecting the entry points and utilizing telemonitoring technology for early intervention and 24x7 triaging to the appropriate level of care which avoids unnecessary medical expenditures. Unless, there is an imminent clinical and or financial risk. Thereby, ensuring high patient satisfaction and net savings for payers.
Q. How does the TruDoc 24x7 platform prevent Non-Life-Threatening Conditions?
TruDoc 24x7’s Control Center consists of full-time, highly trained, and licensed General Practitioners and Family Medicine Doctors, Psychologists, Wellness Experts who are available to our consumers 24x7 and 365 days in a year, to provide a proper level of care.
TruDoc has succeeded in integrating multiple entry points to ensure consumers receive honest and reliable medical advice based on Evidence Based Medicine. Early interventions are also a key element of TruDoc’s success in aligning patients and payers. TruDoc 24x7’s doctors are full-time employees who have no incentives for overutilization, and thus, they ensure that patients are told the truth about what they need and not what they can afford. This ensures better clinical outcome for the patients and better financial outcome for their healthcare payer.
When travelling, patients can connect to our Doctors via TruDoc 24x7 mobile application via voice/video calls and live chat; while at the office they can have a video consultation with our doctors and at the same time measure their vital signs by using smart, telemonitoring devices via Health & Wellness On-site Virtual Clinic; chronic and acute patients can be treated an monitored from the comfort of their home by enrolling on our Hospital at Home Program; while TruDoc’s Hospitalist Program focuses on early discharge of patients from hospitals to reduce unnecessary average hospital bed-days.
Q. TruDoc recently completed its ten years. Congratulations. How has your journey been so far as the telehealth leader in the UAE Market?
TruDoc 24x7 started its operations in 2011 in Dubai, UAE as a Telemedicine provider with a mission of changing consumer behavior by providing them with 24x7 access to Doctors and Wellness Experts via Mobile Application and Toll-Free number. In 2017, TruDoc developed several programs, such as Hospital at Home in partnership with John Hopkins University that is mainly focused on acute and chronic patients, On-site Virtual Clinics that provide access to doctors from the comfort of consumers office, Chronic Disease Management program and Hospitalist Program. All these services have helped TruDoc 24x7 to successfully transition from just a telemedicine provider to a one of its kind 24x7 Care Level Management serving healthy, acute and chronic conditions. TruDoc 24x7 now has over 4.4 million paid subscribers in multiple countries and over 6,700 multinational corporate clients including insurance carriers, governments, brokerage firms and TPAs, telecom providers, pharmacies, etc.
Q. Can you discuss more about the innovative telehealth platform you are developing and its key competitive advantages?
TruDoc 24x7 has its own IT-system which was developed in-house 6 years ago. Through its innovative technology, TruDoc is able to provide consumers with 24x7 access to doctors, wellness experts, therapists, pharmacists and case managers via voice/video calls and live chat. In 2019, TruDoc has implemented Artificial Intelligence (AI), in the form of a Symptom Checker for both General symptoms as well as COVID-19 specific symptoms.
One of the most important elements of TruDoc’s IT system is its ability to stratify chronic high-risk patients and monitor their readings through its 24x7 Call Center where its doctors are ready to intervene and provide
the appropriate level of care; thus, addressing clinical and or financial risks appropriately. This ensures TruDoc’s ability to generate net ROI to its payers while significantly enhancing patient satisfaction.
Q. Tell us more about TruDoc’s massive expansion plans in Africa in the next two years. What is the importance of modern telemedicine technology for African countries? And the reasons why you are passionately exploring Africa?
TruDoc 24x7 currently operates in UAE, Nigeria and Egypt and is planning to expand its services in 14 African countries in the next 4 years through organic growth and strategic partnerships.
The shortage of doctors and skilled health workforce and the emergence of the Coronavirus in the African continent is an issue that warrants urgent attention. Therefore, providing patients with access to healthcare professionals 24x7 via Mobile application or Toll-free number and On-site Virtual Clinics that can be installed in both urban and rural areas is needed now more than ever.
The patients who visit our On-site Virtual Clinics can have a video consultation with the doctor and at the same time measure their vital signs by using smart, telemonitoring devices that are Bluetooth connected to our 24x7 Control Center. The doctor will help the patient manage their condition, issue repeat prescriptions, arrange for onsite lab tests inside the virtual clinic and arrange for medication delivery, when needed. This is why we believe that TruDoc 24x7’s Care Level Management Solution is a perfect fit for the African market.
Q. How have you innovated in these challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic? Could you tell us about your experience working through the pandemic?
The increased awareness of telehealth and the quality services made available during the pandemic has increased confidence in the use of such services and it is anticipated that post-COVID-19, many people will adopt the telehealth solution as the norm. The opportunity for telehealth services to become a standard of care is growing and will continue to grow post-COVID-19 as it has proven to be effective during the outbreak.
TruDoc 24x7 is bridging the gap between people, physicians and health systems, enabling everyone, especially symptomatic patients, to stay at home and communicate with highly trained and licensed doctors via voice/video calls and live chat, anytime, from anywhere in the world.
If the patients have any concerns related to Coronavirus, they can contact our doctors via mobile application TruDoc 24x7 or toll-free number 800 878362. The doctors will provide patients with all the information about the virus and the steps they can take to avoid it. Our doctors will help the patients manage their condition, issue repeat prescriptions, and also arrange for the PCR tests from the comfort of their home. The patients can also check their symptoms via AI-based COVID-19 Symptom checker, which has been recently implemented on our mobile application.
Q. Tell us about your services for Mental Health & Corporate Wellness.
As the pandemic wears on, ongoing and necessary public health measures are exposing many people to experience situations linked to poor mental health outcomes, such as isolation and job loss. Mental distress during the pandemic is occurring against a backdrop of high rates of mental illness and substance use that existed prior to the current crisis. The consumers can connect to our team of therapists via mobile application and schedule a live session at a time that is convenient for them. If there is anything that interferes with your happiness or prevents you from achieving your goals, our team of therapists may be able to help.
Trudoc24x7 wellness services include a wide array of virtual services. Our members can schedule a phone or video call appointment with our wellness team to achieve a healthier lifestyle. The wellness call center provides customized meal and fitness plans, stress relief program, weight management programs, sleep disorder program, smoking cessation program, prenatal and post-natal wellness and disease management programs. Our members can also monitor their health using wellness features on our mobile application. Tracking readings such as weight, steps, BMI and body fat are one click away.
Trudoc24x7 Wellness team also aims to increase health and wellbeing amongst employees by promoting workplace wellness. Our corporate wellness initiatives and programs include but are not limited to webinars, workshops, and health events.
Q. What does the TruDoc 24x7 work culture entail?
The healthcare industry is ever evolving and so is our company. With a diverse group of employees servicing a very diverse group of clients, TruDoc 24x7 fosters a very welcoming environment and culture in the workplace.
Considered as #1 Care Level Management Delivery System in the world, TruDoc 24x7 uses proprietary health signals and personalized interactions to drive better health outcomes across the full continuum of care, at every stage in a person’s health journey. With a mission of changing consumer behavior by aligning patients, payers and preferred provider insurance networks based on Evidence Based Medicine, TruDoc 24x7 will continue “Doing The Right Thing” and will always give patients what they need, and not what they can afford.
The Leader Upfront
Raouf Khalil, Founder and CEO
Before founding TruDoc 24x7 LLC, he served as a Chairman and CEO of multiple health care providers including Professional Home Health Services (PHHS), a California company providing Home Infusion, Home Health, Hospitalists, Hospice and Durable Medical Equipment. PHHS was sold to Option Care Inc. a USA national home infusion company. He developed an early intervention clinical model which connects inpatient and outpatient care for chronically ill patients through Hospitalist Programs and 24/7 access to doctors home visits by providing over 40,000 doctors home visits per month in USA. He has also developed a unique healthcare financial reimbursement model based on better patient satisfaction and net savings for payers.
Mr. Khalil believes that the only truly sustainable healthcare solution is the one that aligns patients, payers, and providers through Evidence Based Medicine.