Technology startup companies in the health sector are mushrooming, along with the increasing awareness of quality of life that is getting bigger. Good Doctor Technology Indonesia emerged as a new player with a big mission, becoming a platform that could provide one doctor for one family. In fact, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) of the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies in 2017, the ratio of the number of doctors to 1.000 populations in Indonesia is 0.25, lower than Singapore, Thailand and even Vietnam.
Good Doctor Technology Indonesia is a joint venture between Grab and the largest digital-based health service in China, Ping An Good Doctor. The two companies announced the US $ 140 million collaboration in August 2018. Both agreed to focus on providing health services in Southeast Asia.
CoHive had the opportunity to talk with Danu Wicaksana, who was recently appointed as Managing Director of Good Doctor Technology Indonesia who is responsible for operations in Indonesia. Let’s take a look on how the conversation goes!
CoHive: Hi Mas Danu? How are you? I hope you’re safe and healthy! Can you tell us your journey at Good Doctor Indonesia?
I felt quite fortunate to be here because my original background was an engineer—I was studying chemical engineering at ITB. Then I tried exploring management consulting at McKinsey and there I began to be exposed to various industries. Starting in 2015, I went to the world of technology, starting from e-commerce in BerryBenka and HijabBenka, and then I took on other challenges in science, namely T-Cash and LinkAja, now I have another opportunity to study further at Good Doctor. If you ask me, I’m a lifelong learner, what I want to be is important to keep learning. I believe technology can solve many different problems in our country.
Wow that’s interesting! As a ‘new kid on the block’ in terms of healthcare app, how’s Good Doctor growth now?
Yes, we are still new, we officially operating on December 10, 2019. We are still as old as corn from the old side of operation. But we are very thankful that our growth is extraordinary and even exceeded expectations, because at a bad time like this, the Covid-19 pandemic is making people more aware of their health. Plus, people tend to not come to health facilities. Despite getting extraordinary traffic, we certainly hope that this pandemic can end soon, and the community can work normally again.
To what extent is the improvement from the initial launch of the application to the present?
Compared to December, the increase has been 7-8 times. This is something that we are grateful for, but at the same time it encourages us to seek more doctors to be able to serve all people who want to consult.
What is the contribution of Good Doctor in solving the Covid-19 pandemic?
We have two partnerships, with the Indonesian Ministry of Health and BNPB. With the Ministry of Health, we have become an official telemedicine partner, in the sense that all our medical partners have obtained official guidelines from the Ministry of Health in handling Covid-19 online. This is particularly useful because many Indonesians are anxious, so if they cough a little directly ask us, now from this guideline we can answer whether these symptoms should be hospitalized or still be able to follow other preventive steps. Meanwhile, BNPB, one of the initiatives carried out by BNPB is self-isolation monitoring. So for patients who have experienced symptoms but are not yet at a medium or high level, we recommend independent isolation, but we still check periodically through the Good Doctor or GrabHealth application.
What are the significant differences with other healthcare apps?
We actually have many things that differentiate us with other players, but we are still in the fourth month. The big concept is that healthcare app is essential in providing solutions to three things, which are often referred to as ‘healthcare iron’ technology: access, cost and quality. Our technology can make costs incurred very efficiently, secondly, we believe in Indonesia, we are not only offering “medical care” or “health services” for people who are sick, but also “wellness” that is, health services for people who want to look after their health, for example, want to do a weight loss or nutrition check. Third, we will penetrate all cities and villages in Indonesia; we feel that the people who can benefit the most from this are the people who have less health facilities.
Good Doctor wants to provide one doctor for one family, how do you achieve this target?
Back again to our core strength, namely technology. In China, the number of doctors per 1000 patients is also not high, but how they can increase their coverage to all patients depend on technology. For example, 1 doctor in an offline facility, working for 8 hours can meet 32 patients, now our task is how with this online facility can serve 32 patients not in 8 hours but within 1 hour. The trick is to combine doctors, as human strength with the power of machine learning or natural language processing or artificial intelligence, now this natural language processing must be built up for years, because we have to integrate the experience of doctors with thousands of previous patients, so that we can build clinical pathway or algorithm. We try to develop things like this with machine learning, so that one doctor can handle a greater number of patients than when they practice offline.
Can all health problems be handled online?
Good question! I have also been asked more extreme question, such as ‘Does the hospital see Good Doctor as a competitor?’ So it all depends on the point of view. We are extremely fortunate that various hospital networks that actually invite us to cooperate because we see that the problem is very large, cannot be handled by one party. Back to the original question, the answer is no, it is a very honest answer. Out of 100% of illnesses in the community, only about 40-50% of diseases can be resolved online or without physical touch, meaning that there are 50% of other diseases that still require physical follow-up. The question means, this technology is very relevant for 50% of this disease, and for the next 50%, somehow relevant but cannot solve, why is that, because monitoring is still done online but for various other actions still must be done physically.
Good Doctor is optimistic about seizing the regional market
From the investment side, how is the investment going to Good Doctor?
So, we are an independent company outside of Grab, but Grab is one of the minority shareholders, for its market strategy, we enter Grab in its GrabHealth section.
What about the stage?
Good Doctor is still in the early stages of market introduction and also gaining market share, we are also looking for feedback from the public, what kind of health services they need because there are many other players, and of course we see our seniors as a place to learn.
Will there be fundraising too?
Like a technology startup company, where the three investors mentioned earlier are our seed funding, in the next few weeks we will do a series of fundraising which will be conducted in Singapore. What is different from us with other players is, our initial goal is to become a regional company. We are incredibly grateful because some investors responded well when we announced we would do series funding.
What are the main strengths of the goal of becoming a regional company?
For sure, number one is achieving global knowledge. In China, 1.3 billion people must have disease and treatment that they already know well, in the sense that we cannot equate what happened there with what happened in Indonesia. But in a clinical pathway, doctors would already have a clinical pathway that has been standardized from the WHO side, now these experiences are unbelievably valuable for us to be taken to Indonesia or other southeast Asian countries. Second, in terms of model business, if many companies see Alibaba or Amazon as ‘big brother’ to see which businesses can be monetized which are not. We are fortunate enough to have Ping An Good Doctor, because they have become listed companies, meaning they have been trusted by the investment community and the business has been proven. Their own users have reached more than 330 million, now this is what we will study and customize for the people in Indonesia. Third, to go regional, I think we can create a brand with a proven reputation, for example Good Doctor is in Malaysia, Singapore, and others. As Indonesians, many still have the perception that outside healthcare facilities are better than here, although it could be true, but we try to learn from healthcare practices that are outside with our local wisdom.
CoHive accommodates Good Doctor’s scale-up potential
So, Mas Danu, why did you decide to have an office in CoHive?
First, because Good Doctor is developing rapidly but still young, we feel that we need a flexible real estate solution, so that when we want to scale up, we can find partners who can do it quickly and efficiently. We feel CoHive can fulfill it all. Second, we see CoHive’s credibility, we happen to know some people from CoHive and CoHive itself is a brand that have been top of mind and around for a long time. Moreover, we know the investors personally too. We believe in CoHive that we can work well together. Third, the location, we have several target locations in Jakarta, and incidentally CoHive has buildings in these representative locations.
What is expected from CoHive to help your business?
From our expectation, firstly is a community event. Good Doctor has been in CoHive 101 for two months, but we don’t know many members yet, so maybe if there is an event (after the pandemic) we will definitely participate. In addition, our job as management is to retain the best talents. We would love to have the area complemented with canteen or café and so on, in order to make tenants like us feel even happier.
Well noted! Finally, what’s the advice for those who want to enter the startup world? Especially for those whose educational background does not match the startup field, like mas?
This is a valid question, in my opinion being the leader or CEO of a company, is something that is more to art than science. If we look at the leaders of companies in Indonesia, then we see that the company sector at least half the background is not in line. For example Pertamina or Garuda Indonesia, is the CEO’s background in aeronautical engineering or geology? Not really. For startups and even mature companies, the CEO is more than the managing side of the company, because we are not only managing the company but all sides in it. For example, in Good Doctor, I’m very grateful that the people below me are people who are very competent in their fields. In my case, when there is an opportunity at Good Doctor, I think, you only live once, so when there is an opportunity to do this, I know it will be very challenging and get out of my comfort zone, but I know that the opportunity in healthcare is very large.