When Ibrahim Fakih and Elie Abou Chedid decided to launch trakMD, it was never about an online appointment booking platform that patients can find and book doctors with, albeit a much needed tool for better accessibility to healthcare professionals. The two seasoned experts in the healthcare industry had, in fact, set their sights on building a comprehensive platform that serves as the go-to solution for everything healthcare, be it for patients or healthcare providers.
The journey began with connecting patients and healthcare providers of all specialties through an online booking platform. Patients download trakMD’s free android or ios mobile application, search for a provider by specialty, location, and availability, and book their appointments instantly with the click of a button. On the other hand, trakMD presented healthcare providers with an appointment management solution that captures live schedule availabilities and places it at the palms of the patients’ hands, all while automating appointment reminders which has helped reduce no-shows significantly. The next step was implementing a personal health record for patients, of which they assume full ownership and decide whether to share it with a provider or not upon booking an appointment. As for healthcare providers, patient engagement features were gradually added, namely the preventive health reminders and the patient education module. Patient engagement has proved to be a key element in increasing patient retention and callbacks, in addition to empowering patients by placing them at the center of their healthcare experiences.
The Age of Misinformation
UAE authoritiese are teaming up with the Ministry of Interior, the UAE’s media authorities, and different departments in an effort to limit incidents caused by unauthorized health advice on the internet. The problem with medical misinformation, whether in the form of health tips or online diagnosis and treatment plans, is that it easily accessible by the public population and efforts to “regulate” on a national scale will prove futile in the face of thousands of international online websites and social media pages. The problem also extends to what may be recognized as “trustworthy”, where an article or a symptom checker can leave much space for individuals to make wrong assumptions, and possibly act upon it.
As healthcare providers utilize trakMD to fully manage their practices, and patients have the tools for an accessible and satisfactory healthcare experience, trakMD’s Healthbook follows naturally as the conclusive bridge to create a collaborative patient/doctor relationship that eliminates the risks of misinformation along the way.
The majority of healthcare providers and medical enterprises have established an online presence across the different social media platforms, and have heavily invested in reaching out and increasing patient volume. The nature of the social media platforms places what may be meant to deliver a serious message on a timeline populated with inconsequential posts (selfies, rumors, personal thoughts..etc). The Healthbook allows them to connect and reach out to users in a healthcare-only social medium that maximizes the efficiency of their submissions. Patients, on the other hand, are insulated from misinformation and connected with peers interested in the same health topics.
Healthcare providers share their posts via articles, infographics, or videos seamlessly from their trakMD dashboard, and entries are automatically tagged with their specialties and keywords that fall under specific health topics. Patients enjoy a personalized timeline populated with entries from healthcare providers they follow and other providers sharing posts about health topics they are subscribed to. Patients are also able to interact with providers by “Thanking” through a dedicated button under each entry, replying with inquiries which will be transferred to a dedicated Q&A section and automatically tagged for providers interested in providing feedback, and sharing posts across other social media platforms.
The Healthbook is the epitome of the participatory healthcare experience trakMD aims to promote, where patients are empowered to take a more active role in their healthcare journey.