Doc+, a resident of the Skolkovo Foundation’s IT cluster that provides telemedicine services, has raised investment of $9 million led by the Swedish venture fund Vostok New Ventures.
Doc+ allows patients to arrange home visits by a range of medical specialists, as well as offering online medical consultations and other services. Photo: Screenshot of Docplus.ru.
The other investors in Doc+’s third investment round are two of its shareholders, Baring Vostok private equity fund and Russian internet giant Yandex, which together invested $5.5 million in the startup in 2015, and another $5 million last year, Kommersant newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The Doc+ mobile app began in 2015 as a service for requesting house calls by doctors, and now offers a range of telemedicine services, including online medical consultations, an automated house calls organizing service for doctors and a medical history gathering bot. The Skolkovo startup, which describes itself as “Russia’s first mobile clinic,” plans to use the funding to further develop its tech platform, test new areas in the field of digital medicine and develop its own solutions based on artificial intelligence, Kommersant reported.
“We believe in the potential of Russia’s medical market and think that Doc+ is a key player on the house calls market,” the newspaper quoted Ilya Grabovsky, a representative of Yandex, as saying.
“Doc+ continues to show dynamic results in all of its key metrics,” he added.
In January this year, Doc+ launched the first medical history bot on the Russian market, Kommersant reported. The bot asks the patient questions to obtain all the necessary information, and then uses it to fill in electronic medical records, meaning that at the start of the consultation, the doctor already has medical records in front of them.
The company has also developed a programme for automating the dispatch system for doctors: it organizes all the calls made to a mobile clinic and determines the order of response to them. Its introduction made it possible to respond to 98 percent of calls on time and to reduce transport expenses by 30 percent, Kommersant cited the company as saying.
Doc+ offers medical consultations by messenger, audio and video link, as well as providing a more traditional call-out service. According to the company, its app has been downloaded more than 250,000 times, and more than 200,000 online consultations and house calls have taken place. More than 300 doctors work for Doc+, ranging from pediatricians to neurologists.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Alphabet, the parent company of Google, was investing $375 million in the U.S. startup Oscar Health, which creates individual health insurance packages based on electronic medical records and telemedicine .
“That’s very similar to what we are doing at Doc+,” Ruslan Zaidullin, CEO of Doc+, told Kommersant.
“The new of such major deals confirms that we have chosen the right path,” he added.
Thirty percent of companies that have raised investment in the U.S. of more than $100 million are medical companies, and nearly 20 percent are in some way connected with digital health, Ruslan Kamalov, head of the Skolkovo Foundation’s biomed cluster, told the Telemed Forum held at the Skolkovo Technopark back in June. Digital healthcare and telemedicine startups starting out today have every chance of becoming unicorns in the next three to five years, if not sooner, he added.
Telemedicine has enormous potential for the Russian market, given the size of the country and the remoteness of some of its populated areas. Telemedicine could connect Russians living in those areas with the specialist they need, regardless of that doctor’s location. Telemedicine developments such as wearables can also be used by patients to gather their own data on their health and send it to the doctor electronically, saving them the time, effort and expense of travelling long distances for medical appointments.
Doc+ is one of three Skolkovo companies that has been selected to take part in the SuperNova Investor Pitching Track at Supernova, a major new tech fair taking place in Antwerp on September 27-28. As well as pitching to investors, the company will have the chance to meet representatives of venture funds for one-on-one meetings.