Author’s blurb: “Every time I queue to see the doctor, I have one irrational thought: wouldn’t having so many sick people in close quarters expose us to the risk of becoming infected with other illnesses? With COVID-19 now on the rise, perhaps this startup’s solution is one that can lower our risk of infection.”
In all honesty, the inspiration behind QueueMed’s beginnings is far more serious.
No one enjoys waiting in line at the clinic or hospital while they feel sick. We usually want the whole process to quickly be over and then head home to rest.
Some patients might demand to be seen first, which could cause trouble not only for the medical staff but for other patients as well.
And the reason why they might start a fit in the first place? Because they don’t know how far along in the queue they really are.
Dr. Kev Lim had seen these things first-hand multiple times, whenever he had to bring his daughter for checkups on her underlying medical condition.
Eventually, he grew frustrated by the system and made his craziest life decision yet—he quit his medical career and launched QueueMed, a healthtech startup, in 2018.
By Doctors, For Doctors
Dr. Kev runs QueueMed with his co-founders Dr. Tai Tzyy Jiun and Nicholas Tai.
QueueMed is a white labelled online-to-offline (O2O) solution that specializes in providing multichannel appointment bookings, mobile queue solutions, and e-payment solutions to clinics and hospitals.
Essentially, what it’s trying to do is minimize administrative workload and optimize patients’ waiting time, improving access to overall healthcare.
Patients can book their appointments online anywhere they are, receive an online queue ticket, and automatic reminders.
But perhaps most importantly, QueueMed allows patients to check the queue progress in real-time through their mobile device. This means that they can plan their journey accordingly and won’t have to waste time being stuck in a long queue.
If they are unable to make it to the appointment, they can easily cancel it ahead of time.
To quicken the in-and-out process even further, QueueMed’s incorporated e-payment solution allows healthcare centres and providers to include booking fees for certain services or packages.
According to Dr. Kev, they are also one of the pioneers in the market that enables patients to make online payments with various e-wallets like Boost, GrabPay, and Touch ‘n Go eWallet.
“Fundamentally, we want healthcare centres and providers to adopt digital solutions, and only then can we make the patient journey overall more convenient and a better experience,” he added.
Change Is Not All About The Technology
With healthcare being a serious subject, it’s no surprise that the industry is highly regulated and relatively restricted.
“Our biggest challenges are still the mindset and attitude of the nation towards digital solutions,” Dr. Kev shared.
“Digital transformation is not about the technology, rather, it is about the readiness and maturity of the market in terms of digital adoption.”
And while he acknowledged that they’ve seen significant progress and improvement recently, he still believes that Malaysia’s healthtech ecosystem is still in its infancy stage, with lots of potential to grow.
Dr. Kev said that QueueMed has so far been blessed to have the support of agencies like DHM, SME Corp, MaGIC, MED, and APEC.
They’ve also been working closely with Nestspace, a health tech focused co-working space, to connect with entrepreneurs who share the same vision in digital healthcare transformation.
But more needs to be done if Malaysia is to take her healthcare industry to the next level.
“We wish to see more supportive policies coming from policy makers, and more collaboration opportunities among health tech players,” Dr. Kev said.
Bridging The Healthcare Gap
QueueMed’s white labelled solution has since been integrated with other healthcare apps like Doc2Us and GetDoc, which helps drive traffic back to clinics and hospitals.
Within its first year, it has also successfully helped over 100 clinics adopt digital solutions. Some of these clinics include chains like Qualitas Medical Group and Dahlia Medical Group.
In terms of the number of patients who’ve found a use for their solutions, Dr. Kev said there have been over 40,000 of them so far, and QueueMed has assisted with more than 85,000 bookings.
When we asked about their revenue, Dr. Kev politely declined to answer as he shared that they were in talks about a second round of fundraising.
At the moment, QueueMed is in the process of implementing its solution in private medical centres and public primary healthcare centres.
This is in line with their objectives to be more inclusive and interoperable so that they can achieve their vision of being the main team player and aggregator in the market.
“Together with other digital platform players, we shall create a universal mobile healthcare ecosystem to streamline the entire patient journey,” Dr. Kev said.
Bottom line: “There’s so much we could do in the time it takes to queue at the doctor’s sometimes, and QueueMed’s system helps minimize the duration we spend in a potentially highly-infectious space too. I’m not sure if it’ll make a huge change in clinics (since the ones I go to don’t have too long a wait), but I can definitely see it making a change in hospitals where the wait can be much longer.”
This article first appeared in the Vulcan Post.