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Reimagining patient care dynamics by innovating the process of doctor appointment scheduling

Conceptual art copyrighted to HiEquity.ai

Practo, an innovative health platform based in Bangalore, Karnataka, India, stands at the forefront of revolutionizing healthcare accessibility and management. Established in 2008 by Abhinav Lal and Shashank ND, Practo was initiated with the goal of transforming the landscape of digital healthcare. As a trusted and familiar hub, Practo offers an integrated approach to healthcare, seamlessly connecting individuals with a wide range of services. These services encompass health issue assessments, facilitating connections with appropriate doctors, scheduling diagnostic tests, obtaining medicines, and offering platforms for storing health records and learning healthier living practices. This comprehensive approach ensures that individuals and their families receive a holistic healthcare experience.

Furthermore, Practo extends its utility to healthcare providers, offering them a powerful platform to enhance their presence, grow their practices, and engage with patients more effectively. This dual approach benefits both patients and healthcare professionals, fostering a more interconnected and efficient healthcare ecosystem.

It’s worth noting that, as per the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 463 million adults (20–79 years old) were living with diabetes in 2019, and this number is expected to rise to 700 million by 2045. This global epidemic not only affects individuals’ health but also imposes significant economic burdens. In India alone, where Practo is headquartered, an estimated 77 million adults were living with diabetes in 2019, making it a crucial health concern in the region.

Practo’s role in addressing such a widespread condition with its diabetes management program is invaluable. By facilitating easier access to healthcare providers, streamlining the process of managing chronic conditions, and offering educational resources for healthier living, Practo is not just a convenience but a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. Its ability to connect patients with healthcare professionals, ensure timely medical interventions, and promote continuous monitoring and management of chronic diseases like diabetes highlights its pivotal role in the healthcare sector.

Pain point addressed

Practo addresses a critical pain point in India’s healthcare sector: the inefficiency in booking and managing medical appointments. This problem is acute in urban areas with overburdened systems leading to long waiting times and in rural areas where access to healthcare providers is limited. Targeting the initial stages of the healthcare value chain, Practo streamlines processes from symptom identification to booking consultations, significantly easing patient entry into the healthcare system.

Key stakeholders benefit distinctly. Patients gain from a simplified, quicker process for accessing medical services, reducing wait times and confusion in finding appropriate care. Healthcare providers, including doctors and clinics, leverage Practo to efficiently manage appointments and patient records, enhancing operational effectiveness. This also extends benefits to the broader healthcare infrastructure, including medical facilities and insurance providers, through improved data management and service delivery efficiency.

By focusing on these aspects, Practo effectively mitigates the challenges of accessing healthcare in India, significantly improving the healthcare experience for both patients and providers.

Type of solution

Practo presents a comprehensive digital solution, primarily rooted in software, designed to streamline and enhance various facets of healthcare management and access. This platform encapsulates a range of services, including the booking of doctor appointments, efficient management of health records, and the provision of telemedicine consultations. At the core of its functionality, Practo employs advanced internet technologies and user-friendly mobile applications, enabling seamless remote access to healthcare services.

Practo’s solution is intricately designed for user convenience and efficiency. For instance, users can easily search for doctors by specialty, location, and availability, book appointments online, and receive reminders for upcoming visits. The platform also offers a secure repository for health records, allowing both patients and healthcare providers to access medical history and test results digitally, facilitating informed medical decision-making. Additionally, Practo’s telemedicine feature provides a crucial service, enabling patients to consult with healthcare professionals via video calls, which is invaluable for those with mobility issues, in remote areas, or during situations like the COVID-19 pandemic where in-person visits are challenging.

Source: https://www.practo.com/

Type of input data leveraged

Practo, as a comprehensive digital healthcare platform, leverages various types of input data to provide its services effectively. The data utilized is extensive and is handled with a focus on maintaining privacy and security, especially considering the sensitive nature of healthcare information.

  • Personal and demographic information: This includes basic patient information such as name, age, gender, contact details, and location. Demographic data helps in personalizing the user experience and is crucial for appointment bookings and communication.
  • Medical history and health records: Patients can upload their medical history and previous health records, which are essential for doctors to understand their medical background. This data includes past diagnoses, treatment plans, medication history, and any chronic conditions or allergies.
  • Appointment details: This encompasses the time, date, and purpose of appointments, doctor preferences, and any specific notes or requests made by patients. This information helps in scheduling and managing appointments efficiently.
  • Diagnostic data: Lab test results, imaging reports (like X-rays and MRIs), and other diagnostic information can be uploaded and shared with healthcare providers for better diagnosis and treatment planning.
  • Symptom information: Patients often input the symptoms they are experiencing, which can be used to guide them to the appropriate healthcare provider or service.
  • Feedback and ratings: Post-consultation feedback and ratings provided by patients about doctors and services help in maintaining and improving the quality of service.
  • Telemedicine interactions: Data from virtual consultations, including video calls, chat logs, and any notes taken during these sessions, is stored to maintain a record of the consultation and for future reference.

Key technology involved

Practo harnesses a sophisticated array of technologies to revolutionize digital healthcare, each contributing uniquely to enhance user experience and service efficiency.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): AI and ML are pivotal in tailoring healthcare recommendations to individual needs. These technologies analyze patient data and interaction patterns to offer predictive insights, such as identifying potential health risks or suggesting suitable medical professionals. Over time, machine learning algorithms refine their accuracy, adapting to user feedback and evolving health trends.
  • Natural language processing (NLP): NLP powers Practo’s interactive chatbots and virtual assistants. These tools understand and process user inquiries in natural language, guiding them through appointment scheduling, answering FAQs, and providing basic healthcare information. This technology simplifies user interactions, making the platform more accessible and user-friendly.
  • Data analytics: Data analytics is employed to extract meaningful insights from vast healthcare datasets. Practo analyzes user behavior, treatment outcomes, and service utilization to identify patterns and trends. This helps in optimizing service delivery, enhancing patient care, and making informed business decisions.
  • Cloud computing: Practo relies on cloud computing for secure, scalable storage and management of health records. This technology ensures data is always available and protected, which is critical for maintaining continuity of care and patient trust. Cloud infrastructure allows Practo to handle large volumes of data without compromising on speed or accessibility.
  • Mobile technology: Practo’s mobile-first approach leverages the ubiquity of smartphones to deliver healthcare services on the go. This technology ensures that healthcare support is just a few taps away, especially beneficial for users in remote locations or those with limited access to traditional healthcare.
  • Telemedicine technologies: Utilizing advanced video conferencing and secure communication channels, Practo facilitates remote consultations. This not only extends healthcare reach but also maintains patient-doctor interaction during times when physical consultations are not possible, like during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key applications of solution

Practo’s appointment-booking system is a pivotal component of its digital healthcare services, offering an array of features designed to streamline the process of accessing healthcare.

Appointment booking system

  • This feature allows users to effortlessly search for doctors by specialty, location, and availability, aligning with their specific healthcare needs.
  • Users benefit from comprehensive filters that include patient reviews, doctors’ qualifications, and their years of experience. This ensures that patients find the right healthcare provider, aligns with their medical requirements and preferences.
  • Practo enhances patient-doctor interaction by sending automated reminders for upcoming appointments, along with notifications for any changes or cancellations.
  • This system is instrumental in reducing no-shows and improving appointment planning, benefiting both patients and healthcare providers by ensuring efficient time management.

Telemedicine services

  • Practo’s telemedicine services enable patients to consult with healthcare providers via video conferencing. This feature is particularly invaluable during circumstances such as health crises or for patients residing in remote areas where in-person visits are challenging.
  • Virtual consultations ensure continuous and uninterrupted access to healthcare, thus expanding the reach and effectiveness of medical services.
  • The platform also allows doctors to issue and renew prescriptions digitally.
  • This streamlines the process of obtaining medications, which is critical for patients with chronic conditions who require regular access to their prescriptions, ensuring continuity and convenience in medication management.

Health Records Management

  • Patients can upload and securely store their health records on Practo’s platform.
  • This feature facilitates easy and quick access to medical history for both patients and healthcare providers, which is essential for informed medical decision-making.
  • Practo also offers the flexibility for patients to share their health records with different healthcare providers as required.
  • This data portability is particularly beneficial for patients consulting multiple specialists, as it ensures a cohesive and continuous care approach by providing all healthcare providers with comprehensive patient health information.

Implications for key stakeholders

The implications of Practo’s digital healthcare platform extend far beyond its immediate convenience and efficiency, particularly when considering the diverse array of key stakeholders involved. These implications, often subtle and non-obvious, significantly reshape the landscape for each stakeholder.


  • Enhanced self-management: Patients, especially those with chronic conditions, gain an unprecedented level of control over their health management. For example, a diabetic patient can continuously monitor their condition, schedule regular consultations, and manage medication, all through Practo. This empowerment leads to better adherence to treatment plans and potentially improved health outcomes.

Healthcare providers

  • Professional development and network expansion: Practo provides a platform for continuous learning and interaction with a wider professional community. A doctor in a remote area, for instance, can access the latest medical research, participate in professional forums, and even seek peer advice through the platform, thereby enhancing their practice and patient care.


  • Data-driven risk assessment: Insurers can leverage aggregated health data from platforms like Practo to refine their risk assessments and insurance models. For instance, an insurer might use health trends and patient compliance data to develop more personalized insurance plans, potentially leading to more competitive pricing and better risk management.

Regulatory bodies

  • Data privacy and security oversight: Ensuring Practo’s compliance with data privacy laws is crucial to fostering trust in digital health platforms and protecting patient information. Regulators must standardize telemedicine to align with traditional healthcare quality, facilitating its safe integration into mainstream healthcare. Ensuring that digital healthcare delivery meets established medical standards and maintaining high-quality patient care. Regulators strive to foster innovation in healthcare technology while ensuring patient safety and effective medical interventions.

Current impact

Practo has made a significant impact in the digital healthcare sector.

  • The platform has served over 300 million patients across 13,900 pin codes and 720 cities.
  • Additionally, it is operational in more than 20 countries.
  • The company connects patients with over 1 lakh verified doctor partners, demonstrating its extensive reach and influence in connecting various aspects of the healthcare ecosystem. This includes patients, doctors, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and diagnostics, thereby creating substantial value and service for all involved, particularly the end consumers.

Potential future impact

  • Practo’s potential impact in the near future is shaped by its ambitious growth plans and strategic focus. The company is aiming to become profitable in the next fiscal year and is considering an Initial Public Offering (IPO). This move towards profitability and public listing indicates a significant shift in Practo’s business strategy, likely to fuel further expansion and innovation.
  • Practo’s CEO, Shashank ND, has outlined a roadmap that includes enhancing its presence in smaller cities and towns. This expansion is particularly focused on leveraging AI to analyze data for better healthcare outcomes. The company is also planning to deepen its operations in Tier II and Tier III cities and towns, reflecting its commitment to making quality healthcare more accessible across diverse geographical regions. This expansion into new markets and the use of advanced data analysis tools suggest that Practo is poised to have an even greater impact on healthcare delivery, especially in underserved areas.
  • Practo expects significant revenue growth in the 2023–24 fiscal year, projecting a doubling of its current revenue. This anticipated growth, along with the planned IPO, indicates a strong trajectory toward establishing a more robust and widespread healthcare platform.
  • Given Practo’s current operations and planned expansions, the company could also consider extending its services beyond its current offerings. For example, while it has focused on connecting patients with healthcare providers and managing health records, Practo could potentially explore areas like personalized health analytics, expanded telehealth services tailored to chronic disease management, or even integration with wearable health technologies for real-time health monitoring. These potential areas of expansion could further solidify Practo’s role as a comprehensive healthcare platform, especially in markets with growing demands for advanced and integrated healthcare solutions.

Business model

Practo’s business model is a blend of B2B (Business-to-Business) and B2C (Business-to-Consumer) strategies, along with a mix of subscription-based and one-time purchase offerings:

B2B model

  • Services to healthcare providers: Practo offers services to hospitals, clinics, and individual healthcare practitioners. This includes Practo Ray, an online management software that helps medical practitioners with patient management, appointment scheduling, billing, and digital record keeping.
  • Enterprise solutions: Practo provides software solutions and maintenance services to healthcare institutions, enhancing their operational efficiency and patient management capabilities.

B2C model

  • Direct-to-consumer services: The platform connects patients directly with healthcare providers for consultations, diagnostic services, and health record management. Practo.com, the consumer-facing search platform, enables patients to find and book appointments with doctors.
  • Telemedicine and online consultations: Patients can access healthcare services like online doctor consultations and telemedicine, catering to their immediate healthcare needs.

Funding and key investors

Practo’s funding journey and acquisition strategy reveal a dynamic approach to growth and expansion in the digital healthcare sector. Having raised a total of $228.2 million over 7 funding rounds, with the latest being a Series D round in August 2020, Practo has consistently attracted significant investor interest. This level of funding underscores investor confidence in Practo’s business model and its potential in the healthcare technology market.

The diversity of Practo’s investors is notable, with 14 different entities backing the company. CapitalG and Sofina, as the most recent investors, bring not only financial support but also strategic value, potentially aiding Practo in scaling its operations and expanding its market reach. The involvement of these prominent investors is indicative of Practo’s strong position in the healthcare technology domain and its potential for continued growth and innovation.

Practo’s acquisition strategy further emphasizes its commitment to expansion and diversification. The company has acquired five organizations, with the most recent being Enlightiks in December 2016. Enlightiks, known for its expertise in healthcare analytics, signifies Practo’s interest in enhancing its data analytics capabilities. These acquisitions are strategic moves to bolster Practo’s service offerings, expand its technological capabilities, and strengthen its position in the healthcare market. The key investors in Practo include CapitalG, Sofina, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, RTP Global, AIA Group, Trifecta Capital Advisors, and InnoVen Capital.

Competitive differentiator

Practo’s position as a standout competitor in the digital healthcare market is underpinned by several distinctive features:

  • End-to-end healthcare journey integration: Practo’s platform bridges the entire healthcare journey. This integration spans initial doctor discovery, seamless appointment scheduling, conducting online consultations, managing health records, and facilitating post-treatment follow-up. This end-to-end connectivity sets Practo apart by offering a comprehensive healthcare experience under one umbrella.
  • Streamlined patient experience: Practo’s platform is designed to provide a continuous healthcare journey for patients. This unified experience eliminates the inconvenience of toggling between different platforms or offline channels for various healthcare needs, such as finding a doctor, booking tests, or consulting specialists.
  • All-in-one solutions for providers: The platform equips healthcare providers with an all-encompassing toolkit. This includes efficient patient scheduling, electronic medical records management, and analytics for understanding patient care trends and operational efficiency. This comprehensive toolset enhances the quality of patient care and aids in the management of healthcare facilities.
  • Integrated service depth: Each service within Practo’s platform is deeply integrated, ensuring not only a range of services but also a depth in each service’s functionality. This ensures that each step in the healthcare process is not just a standalone feature but a part of a cohesive whole, thus enhancing overall efficiency and patient satisfaction.
  • Focus on user-friendly design: The platform’s user-friendly design is key in making healthcare services accessible and easy to navigate for both patients and providers. This design philosophy contributes to a better user experience, encouraging continued use and engagement with the platform.

Relevant regulatory and compliance requirements

For a digital healthcare solution like Practo, adherence to relevant regulatory and compliance requirements is crucial. These requirements ensure patient safety, data privacy, and the quality of medical services provided. Some of the key regulatory and compliance areas that are important for such a solution include:

  • Data privacy and security regulations: Compliance with laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the U.S., the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, and similar regulations in other jurisdictions. These laws govern the handling, storage, and transmission of personal health information.
  • Medical device and software regulations: Depending on the features and functionalities, digital healthcare solutions might need to comply with regulations governing medical devices and health-related software. This could involve certifications or approvals from bodies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or its equivalents in other countries.
  • Telemedicine regulations: Specific laws and guidelines that govern the practice of telemedicine can vary significantly from region to region. These regulations might address aspects such as licensing, cross-border consultations, prescription policies, and patient consent.

Partnerships and collaborators

Practo’s partnerships and collaborations are centered around enhancing healthcare services and workplace wellness. Key partnerships include:

  • Collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI): This partnership strengthens FICCI’s employee health and wellness policy. FICCI employees and their families gain access to free online consultations with doctors across various specialties, along with services like medicine delivery, health checkups, and mental health sessions.
  • Corporate health plans: Practo has experienced significant growth in its corporate health plans, indicating a robust B2B engagement strategy. These plans cover over 500 companies, impacting more than one million employees and their families, which constitutes nearly two million people in India.
  • Specialized healthcare services: Apart from regular specialties like General medicine, Gynaecology, and Pediatrics, Practo’s corporate plans also encompass super specialties including Cardiology, Oncology, and Neurology.


Very good app. Well thought out about booking, rescheduling, or canceling an appointment. Also, Doctor’s feedback mechanism is good and describes all the basics in a good way”. Avinash Kumar (User)

“Very easy to book,maintain history. Hassle free from older versions of booking appointment via telephone.. Thanks Practo for making it simple.” Jyothi Bhatia (User)

Areas for continuous improvement

For continuous improvement, Practo could consider focusing on areas that enhance personalized healthcare experiences through advanced data analytics and user engagement. These improvements could include:

  • Advanced patient profiling: Practo could utilize AI and machine learning to develop more detailed patient profiles. This approach could enable the platform to offer personalized healthcare recommendations and follow-up care plans tailored to each individual’s health history and lifestyle.
  • Predictive health analytics: There is potential for Practo to delve into predictive analytics. By analyzing health data trends, Practo could identify early warning signs of health issues, allowing for preemptive care and personalized health alerts.
  • User experience personalization: Practo could continuously refine its user interface based on detailed user behavior analysis and feedback. This improvement could focus on making the platform more intuitive for users of various ages and technological skill levels.
  • Integration with wearable technology: Strengthening the synchronization with wearable health devices and IoT could offer real-time health monitoring. This integration could lead to proactive health management and more individualized care plans.
  • Cultural and linguistic localization: Enhancing the platform’s adaptability to various cultures and languages could make Practo more accessible and user-friendly. This could particularly benefit users in regions with diverse languages and healthcare practices.




Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions, content, and analysis in my posts are entirely my own and do not reflect the views of any current or past employers or institutional affiliations. These posts, based solely on publicly available information, are for informational purposes and should not be taken as professional advice. All insights and conclusions are my viewpoints and should not be considered representative of any organizations I am or have been associated with. This content is not endorsed by, nor does it represent the stance of any affiliated entity.


Hiequity Team

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