DocPlexus, an online community for doctors, is building a bridge between pharma companies and doctors to improve clinical outcomes. Phanish Chandra, CEO, Docplexus, shares more details about the platform, role of technology in the lifesciences industry, differentiators offered by his platform for both the pharma and healthcare sectors and more, in an interaction with Lakshmipriya Nair
What does Docplexus seek to achieve? What are the objectives/ rationale behind setting it up?
Doctors play the most critical role ensuring that the general population receives care and treatments for various diseases. However, the statistics from the government suggests that seamless connectivity between the doctors across India has been a biggest hurdle in ensuring the delivery to achieve national goals. Docplexus is solving exactly that problem. Docplexus is a community of over 1,50,000 practising Indian doctors. The doctors from all over India are joining Docplexus to stay updated with clinical information, to know more about new treatments and drugs, and get insights about policies that are related to medical community. Over 6000 doctors are joining Docplexus every month making us India’s largest and fastest growing platform.
By providing doctors with updated clinical knowledge, we are helping patients to get most effective and recent treatment. Every day over 12000 doctors log on to Docplexus and over 10,000 patient cases have already been shared and solved by the doctors. Each doctor comes in contact with an average of 25 patients per day. That means Docplexus is helping to achieve better patient outcome for over 2,50,000 patients every day. Our ultimate vision is to empower each and every doctor in India so that they learn something new every day and treat their patients well. Our aim is to create a difference in healthcare by improving patient outcomes for at least 100 million patients every year.
How will Docplexus encourage/ promote ethical marketing of pharma products?
At Docplexus, we are collaborating with pharma and medical devices companies. Pharma industry’s reputation has been tainted in the past due to some pharma companies marketing their products with unethical practices. In the last few years, since the introduction of Uniform Code of Pharmaceuticals Marketing Practices (UCPMP), many pharma companies have woken up after anticipating the effects of this law. However, they did not have any new means to communicate the message about their products and services to the doctors. We have provided both the pharma industry and doctors with an unbiased platform to interact in an ethical manner. We help pharma companies to connect with over 1,50,000 doctors with the most important offering they have, their proprietary clinical insights.
Through various means such as articles, webinars, CMEs and interviews, pharma companies can communicate this information and knowledge to the doctors. At the same time, doctors have a complete control of whether they want to consume the communication from pharma firms. So far, we have seen that doctors are highly motivated to know about clinical insights from the pharma industry and Docplexus is their most trusted choice due to our reputation as an unbiased, trustworthy and ethical platform. Pharma companies too have recognised the opportunity to reduce cost and improve the effectiveness of their marketing activities that our platform offers. Overall, it is a win-win situation.
Data security is a growing concern especially in healthcare and pharma. What measures have been taken by Docplexus?
Data security is one of the biggest concern, especially in the life sciences domain. We have multi-layered security measures to ensure privacy and data security.
First of all, we have a strict registration process where only verified registered Indian doctors can join Docplexus. Our team ensures that each registration is genuine in multiple ways. This reduces the risk of unscrupulous activities that can become a risk for the platform.
We also have the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art technology to prevent any breach in the system.
Secondly, the patient’s private information is never made public on Docplexus. Our team has ensured that all private information is masked before the cases are made public. This prevents any breach of privilege or information or identity theft.
Explain the technology you have used to build this platform.
We are using one of the most secure and latest technology, Amazon Cloud. Our core technology is chosen considering user’s need and best experience. We are giving that experience through a variety of advanced coding languages for quick response and more secure, scalable solution.
We are agile and we continuously test and improve our technology for secure, seamless and efficient experience for our users.
What is the revenue model of Docplexus. How does the business operate?
We do not charge doctors for membership on Docplexus. For some additional benefits such as certification for CMEs, we charge them a nominal fee.
On the other side, we do charge pharma companies a subscription fee to market their products on Docplexus. Being a lean organisation, our capital is enough to sustain us.
What are your growth plans for the next three years? What is your strategy to achieve your goals?
As mentioned earlier, in the next few years, we want to connect all Indian doctors with each other. In addition, we want to bring onboard various professional organisations of doctors to ensure their communication have reached to all their members. This will surely ensure improved patient outcomes. Our aim is to improve patient outcomes for 100 million patient outcomes every year.
In addition, we will be connecting with top global medical institutions to bring best clinical information to Indian doctors through webinars and CMEs. We have already worked with various professional organisations in India and we will ensure most of the bodies are present on Docplexus.
Being a tech – enabled company, we always focus on how best we can provide solutions to our members. It is easy to get carried away with the technology but our focus will always remain on ‘healthcare problems.’ This ensures that we stay ahead of the curve.
How would the funds be raised to put the growth plans in motion?
We have raised $750k in the past and have raised another $500k with the same investors. With the raised money, we are going to invest in creating better and more useful content for the doctors.
What are the unique opportunities for growth in India’s healthcare IT segment? How are you positioned to leverage them?
The healthcare sector in India has a lot of opportunities for IT companies. Be it ensuring healthcare delivery to patients, hospital management software suits or ensuring the delivery of the medications. The options are limitless for IT firms to explore. However, healthcare in India is Pandora’s Box. For any IT company who wishes to be successful in healthcare sector in India, working in a silo is not an option. Indian healthcare is very fragmented and firms who give any kind of connectivity between the players in this area can become successful provided they employ the right manpower who brings a lot of experience but still dare to think differently about this sector.
Unlike developed countries, every single area of healthcare sector poses a unique challenge and ofcourse varied opportunities.
Docplexus is very well positioned in the healthcare sector as we are in a constant dialogue with biggest stakeholders; doctors and pharma and medical devices companies. Through our experience for over 2.5 years as company, we have learnt a lot about the healthcare in India that can be improved and we are working on making the difference from the core.