We started Practo with the mission to help people live healthier, longer lives. We believe this is one of the most fundamental needs of humanity. Our whole company is built to deliver on this mission and we are proud to have created solutions that are uniquely Indian but also used globally.
Over the years, we have been fortunate to receive the support of millions of patients, thousands of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers who have put great faith in our products, and our company. We deeply value it and in fact, one of our core values at Practo is to inspire trust amongst our users, our customers and amongst each other within Practo.
As we have grown, we have had some instances of false rumors being spread about our products and business. Normally, we prefer to not respond and let our products do the talking for us. However, this time around, we see a sustained effort being made to mislead and misrepresent Practo and our products to customers and other providers.
Let me start with emphasising how deeply saddened I am by these false and misleading reports. We take enormous care to ensure we conduct ourselves professionally, and that our systems and products are designed to be extremely secure and safe so that only you can access your clinic’s and patients’ data.
Below you will find our direct responses to the concerns raised in the messages doing the rounds on WhatsApp.
Q1. Does Practo access and sell data stored in Ray?
No, we do not access or sell data stored in Ray. Data stored in Ray is owned by the clinic. All data in Ray is behind several strong layers of security and resides in HIPAA compliant data centers and we encrypt the data during transit and it is transferred via a HIPAA compliant network. No one other than you — the doctor and your staff, if authorised by you, can access this data.
Further, patients cannot access their records stored in Ray unless the clinic specifically shares the records with the patient — in which case the patient will only get access to those records shared by the clinic.
Q2. A Practo employee was rude to me and threatened to delete my profile if I didn’t buy your products. What can I do?
First, your Practo profile is completely free, you don’t need to buy Ray or Reach to create and manage your profile on Practo.com.
Second, your Practo profile is your identity on Practo and the way millions of patients can discover you. And with our profile editor, you have complete control of your profile.
The Practo team edits your profile in only 3 instances:
- A specific support request has been made by you to make a change.
- We have received feedback from patients about inaccurate data (for example,fees or clinic timings having changed etc.). In such a case, we will reach out to you and confirm before updating the information.
- Specialisation update based on our blue book initiative — which aligns all specialisations to degrees recognized by the relevant regulatory bodies and specialty associations. You can read more about this here
We hold ourselves to the highest standard of ethics and transparency. We have zero tolerance for anyone misleading or threatening our provider community. If anyone at Practo has done this, please call our DoctorFirst Hotline (080 3045 9565) and report the incident. We will take immediate action to address this.
Q3. How does Practo make money ?
Currently, we have 3 revenue channels:
- Selling subscriptions of our software and hardware solutions
- Ad banners for institutions and establishments
- Consumer transactions
- Doctor search and appointment booking
- Medicine ordering
- Diagnostic test ordering
- Online doctor consultations
In all of the above services, Practo does not access your patient data in Ray and therefore, cannot and does not market products using data from Ray.
Q4. How does Practo Market? Does Practo use clinic’s data in Ray to market its services ?
Practo sees itself as a neutral catalyst in helping both patients and providers embrace digital healthcare technology and online presence. We take it upon ourselves to play a key role in evangelising and promoting digital healthcare in an ethical and transparent manner. In all our efforts, our intention has always been to strengthen the patient-doctor connection and enable a seamless digital health experience while helping more patients discover the right doctors.
When we put up signboards, it makes it easier for patients to identify a digitally enabled clinic and book online appointments with it. Our features like “My Doctors” automatically bookmarks doctors after a patient has once consulted with them, making repeat appointments possible with just 2 clicks.
When it comes to automated system generated SMS messages from Ray to your clinic’s patients, they are related to service delivery such as appointment confirmation, appointment reminders, or notification of you sharing their digital records with them. All of these messages enable a seamless experience for the patients and help them build loyalty with you and your clinic or hospital.
Even when it comes to SMS that consumers get from Practo for other services, we ensure that it is limited to increasing awareness and enhancing experience of digital health on the Practo platform. Here again, we ensure that in each instance, it’s done only when a consumer has specifically and separately given Practo his contact details for such purposes, and never use your clinic’s data in Ray.
Q5. What are the policies governing feedback on Practo ? How do you ensure feedback is genuine?
We understand that patient feedback is an important aspect of your online reputation. This is why our Feedback policy is transparently shown online. These are our guidelines for providers and for patients.
Practo Feedback as a system is constantly evolving. As with any system, we find people trying to circumvent the system constantly. Those attempts, while largely unsuccessful, help us continuously bring out more features that improve the system for both providers and patients. You can see the latest updates to the policy here.
While these may be your current questions, you might have more and we want to make sure that not just our customers, but any and every health care provider can reach Practo easily and ask us questions so we can address your concerns.
Starting today, we are setting up our “DoctorFirst” hotline (080 3045 9565) that will enable you to connect directly to me and the senior leadership team who will address every issue you raise — and if we find any violation of our ethics code, I will personally ensure we take corrective action.
You can use this hotline to:
- Ask any questions to get clarity on Practo’s business model, security, and privacy policies
- Report any incidents that you think are unbecoming of Practo and the standards of ethics and professional behaviour that you expect from us
- Escalating issues that did not get the right treatment from someone at Practo, including non-resolution of pending support requests
Monthly DoctorFirst Webinar
We are also starting a monthly webinar to help you reach out to us directly and regularly to understand the new products and ideas that we are exploring. You can also use this webinar to clear up any doubts or questions you have about our current products.
The first one of these is on Wednesday, 26th October, at 1pm. This one will be hosted by me personally and we will use this time to address questions on the topic at hand — data privacy and security at Practo.
You can participate by visiting http://prac.to/doctorfirst. I encourage you to join us and ask me your questions directly.
Honesty and transparency are two of the most critical aspects of our company, our products, and the business models we undertake. We have always worked hard to ensure that we stay true to the trust you have placed in us. We will work even harder to ensure we uphold this trust, it means everything to us.
Co-Founder & CEO – Practo Technologies Pvt Ltd