The Malaysian medtech developer is leveraging wearable technology and working with insurance players to maximize growth opportunities in the region.
Three years may not sound like a long time, but in practical terms it is a make-or-break time frame for a start-up. If a firm has not folded, it may be only barely surviving and forced to pivot away from the original business plan.
Thankfully, says Dato’ Chevy Beh, his brainchild BookDoc — an online and mobile platform that improves access to healthcare products and services launched in 2016 — is not only very much alive but thriving.
“We are growing and working towards profitability,” says BookDoc’s 33-year-old co-founder and CEO. “Anyone can start a company and get funding but the trick is to see if he’s able to break even, turn a profit and keep growing.”
Beginning life as a healthcare technology start-up almost three years ago, BookDoc’s initial aim was to match individual patients with health professionals of their choice to create a sustainable ecosystem between doctors, patients and employers.
Powered by its eponymous mobile app, Beh’s company has been successful in not only connecting consumers to the healthcare ecosystem but it has also provided a connection between licensed and most recently the insurance industry.
BookDoc today has 20 such clients, including Top Glove, Petroliam Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s Ministry of Health, KPJ Healthcare and Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare. Regionally, its services are used by PT Siloam International Hospitals in Indonesia and Bumrungrad Hospital in Thailand.
BookDoc’s earnings are derived from fees charged for managing these clients’ corporate health programs and overall healthcare benefits schemes. They include the administration of the management of health screenings, dental and optical benefits and other wellness programs including gym membership.
Beh reveals that BookDoc is now tied up with four insurance firms — Sun Life Malaysia, RHB Insurance, Prudential and AXA in Malaysia. “We are pioneering a new form of flexible premium schemes where those who are deemed to be healthier can receive better rebates,” he explains. “We do this by using wearable technology such as smart watches to track everything from calories, health rate count and steps walked to sleeping patterns.
“We extract the data and integrate it with our BookDoc app. We are device independent – you could wear an Apple Watch or Fitbit or Samsung, and we can track them all. In fact, we plan to include other metrics such as blood pressure records, glucose tracking weight management in the future. And we charge for providing this data,” Beh says.
BookDoc has grown to about 40 employees over the past two years and although Beh declines to be specific, he says Book Doc’s revenue has grown from tens of thousands to over millions in US dollars today.
“We don’t need any additional funding to grow for now. But we may consider a strategic partner if warranted,” he says, adding the firm is just shy of breaking even and is expected to do so in 2020.
“This year, our key markets to grow will be Singapore and Hong Kong, and of course our home market Malaysia. We also plan to leverage our new partnership in Indonesia and Hong Kong and we’re confident of success,” he says. AFJ