UVA Today recently featured a new University of Virginia partner study about the massive lack of in-home health care for elderly American patients. The news touched off a lot of media interest and we heard from two 2014 UVA alums who are tackling the problem head-on in Malaysia.
Garvy Beh is an anthropology major and economics minor from Ipoh, Malaysia, and Keegan Flynn is an economics major and foreign affairs minor from Scituate, Massachusetts. Beh is the CEO and founder of Doctor2U, a new, on-demand doctor house call app that brings a doctor to your door in less than an hour. Flynn, the CFO at Doctor2U, calls it “Uber for doctors.” It is a product of BP Healthcare Group, a primary care provider that operates a network of diagnostic centers, specialist centers and pharmacies throughout Malaysia.
“Garvy started Doctor2U in October 2015, and I joined as the CFO and co-founder in July 2016,” Flynn said.
We had more questions, and Flynn happily filled us in from Kuala Lumpur.
Q. How did you conceive of Doctor2U and how long have you been in business?
A. We’ve been in business since October 2015. At first we were trying to find a solution to the everyday inconveniences of going to the doctor’s office or the emergency room, such as getting stuck in traffic, having to wait a long time to get treated, etc. ... But we quickly realized that we were solving a much more serious problem that many families face.
Elderly patients are often bedridden and immobile, making it very costly and time-consuming to transport them to a primary care center or hospital to see a doctor. We’re able to solve this problem and give their loved ones peace of mind by bringing affordable, convenient home care services at the push of a button. So we feel very energized by the opportunity to bring this type of value to the community.
Q. How did you enlist doctors to participate?
A. We have a team that recruits doctors at clinics and hospitals throughout Malaysia. We give doctors a flexible way to earn extra income by accepting requests during their free time, just like Uber drivers, so doctors are generally very excited to join our panel. We now have more than 600 doctors and rely less heavily on recruiting, as many doctors sign up through word of mouth.
Q. The services you offer are incredibly broad. How did you choose these services?
A. Our doctors are able to treat mild to moderate illnesses and injuries. The services we offer – illness, injury, skin, physicals, health check and pediatric care – are the services that typical house-call doctors can provide.
Q. What is your coverage area? Where in South Asia are you operating?
A. Currently, Doctor2U is available in all major cities in Malaysia. However, we are actively expanding to new markets in Asia, notably Singapore and Thailand.
Q. How is business going?
A. It’s going very well. We’ve been seeing strong month-on-month growth and every day we see new requests coming in from all over Malaysia.
We have partnered with Zurich Insurance to provide Doctor2U’s services to [its Malaysia] policyholders at a subsidized rate. We are also aggressively pursuing the hotel market in Kuala Lumpur. We have begun partnering with major hotel chains to bring care to their guests whenever they fall sick.
Q. Can you share a couple of success stories?
A. We get most excited by hearing about the experiences of our customers. One customer wrote a review after requesting a doctor at midnight on behalf of her diabetic 79-year-old mother. The doctor arrived in 20 minutes, and after determining that the patient required further treatment, he personally drove her to the hospital. Our customer expressed how thankful she was for the convenience and peace of mind that Doctor2U provides, and it’s stories like this that continue to motivate and energize us.
Another story that comes to mind is one of a well-known columnist in Malaysia who requested a doctor in desperation for her 89-year-old father. She wrote a touching article about her final farewell to her father, who later passed away in the hospital.
Q. What does the future hold for Doctor2U?
A. We are growing our team rapidly, especially our engineering team. So if any UVA students or alumni are interested, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line at hello@doctor2U.my.