Doc Emotions is currently the number one medical app in Google Play Store and Apple App Store in Latin America. The app allows anyone to instantly connect to a psychologist, for free. The service, which has been used by over 60,000 people, is available in 24 countries and is about to expand to Florida, USA in January. The telemedicine version, called Doc Health, opened its Florida office in November and has served more than 125,000 people worldwide as of this writing.
The Doc.com project is the brainchild of two medical students from Mexico City: Charles Nader and Isao Hojyo. They started with a social network platform for doctors and evolved it into a free telemedicine service. As the system is free and no appointment is needed, it brings vital healthcare support especially to areas with high poverty and low access to doctors. But, considering that the average household in the U.S. spends more than $9,000 annually for healthcare, it seems that even the richer countries could benefit from a free service.
Doc.com combines healthcare, telemedicine, big data and blockchain to make this real. Today, data is considered the new oil. Doc.com makes use of this: it offers free healthcare services in exchange for each patient’s anonymized data points of socioeconomic, environmental, genomic, biomedical, and molecular information. Blockchain is used to reward the users for their contribution as well as give them control over their personal data so that they can choose who can access their data. This data is very valuable for governments, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions, who are the actual payers.
But this data is also very valuable to Doc.com’s Artificial Intelligence system, which aims to study the sessions and the treatments, and offer doctors assistance so they can work more efficiently and assist more patients in the same amount of time. According to Nader, CEO of Doc.com, “Our goal is healthcare access for BILLIONS of people. We cannot do that without AI Doctor assistance. Revolutionizing (universalizing) the world’s healthcare system requires a symphony of business models harmoniously interrelating: AI, telehealth, big data, blockchain and the crypto economic model we’ve adopted—they’re all indispensable.”
AI improves coordination, collaboration, and coherence at every phase of medical practices and optimizes a broad spectrum of categorical inefficiencies that in turn decreases healthcare cost burden to the system itself. This leads to much more affordable healthcare for patients over time.
Doc.com has already partnered with major companies like Uber, Santander Bank, Novartis, Televisa and Devlyn, and intends to expand its services to Europe, Asia and Africa in 2019. It also plans to launch a veterinary service in the U.S. called “doc Pets,” by the second quarter of 2019.
For now, the Doc Emotions and Doc Health apps have been successful, with the former recording over 12,000 downloads in 4 days and over 14,000 calls, with 30% of the users being repeat users. It remains to be seen how the expansions and new the services of Doc.com work out.
Name: Gustavo Astiazarán Elías
This news is published on Reuters.