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Startup Spotlight: Dubai-Based DarDoc Is Enabling Easier Access To Home Healthcare Services For Patients Across The UAE Launched in July 2021 by Samer Masri and Keswin Suresh, DarDoc is a healthcare app that enables patients to receive a variety of services from the comfort of their homes.

By Aalia Mehreen Ahmed Edited by Aby Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Samer Masri and Keswin Suresh, co-founders, DarDoc

This article is part of an ongoing series covering startups that have been a part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) accelerator program.

When it comes to innovation within the UAE's healthcare sector, home-based healthcare is an area that continues to seek improved services. And tending to this need in the industry is UAE-based startup DarDoc. Launched in July 2021 by Samer Masri and Keswin Suresh, DarDoc is a healthcare app that enables patients to receive a variety of services from the comfort of their homes. "What sets DarDoc apart from other players in the home healthcare market is our comprehensive approach to healthcare services," Suresh says. "While other players may offer a simple booking page on their app or website, we go beyond that by offering real-time reporting and monitoring, providing patients with a truly immersive healthcare experience. Additionally, our cloudbased suite of tools for healthcare providers allows for seamless coordination and real-time analysis of patient data. DarDoc's unique combination of mobile application and cloudbased operation suites therefore not only offers a convenient and accessible solution for patients, but also empowers healthcare providers with the tools they need to provide high-quality care."

Now, as is the case for many startup ideas, DarDoc was born out of a situation where one of the co-founders had to face the brunt of solvable inefficiencies. "I used to suffer from an auto-immune disorder, which required a nurse to administer me with injections at home," Suresh recalls. "Upon noticing severe irregularities in accessing home healthcare within the UAE, particularly with the reliance on a lot of manpower and traditional pen-and-paper methods of tracking patient information, I decided to join hands with Masri to address these challenges. We then developed a cloud operation suite that digitizes home healthcare services, reducing the cost of operations for providers, and increasing the quality of care for patients. DarDoc streamlines the entire home healthcare process, from scheduling appointments to tracking patient data. Our mission is to make home healthcare services more accessible and affordable for everyone in the UAE, and thereby create a more equitable healthcare system."

With a team of eight full-time dedicated healthcare professionals, DarDoc has already served over 4,000 patients across the UAE, and recorded over 50,000 nursing hours on its home healthcare platform. Among the many services DarDoc offers its users include special care for newborn babies by certified caregivers (who can be booked for as little as four hours, to as long as a month), 24x7 home nursing for the elderly, as well as physiotherapy services at home. The platform also offers flu vaccines and dialysis at home, as well as vitamin intravenous therapy drops and vitamin tests. Patients can also take thyroid tests and food intolerance tests at home using DarDoc.

Related: Startup Spotlight: Canada-Based WeavAir's Solution Can Measure Multiple Air Purity Metrics For Air Distribution Systems (And It's Making Its Way To The UAE)

"Our team is composed of talented professionals from various backgrounds, all dedicated to leveraging technology to improve healthcare outcomes and patient experiences," Suresh adds. "We operate on a self-pay model, where patients pay for each home visit. Our fees are competitive with traditional healthcare providers, making it affordable for patients to access quality healthcare services from the comfort of their homes. Our revenue model is thus centered around providing affordable home healthcare services in the UAE through our self-pay model, while also working with insurance providers to offer insurance powered medical care soon."

As a solution that operates at the intersection of medical technology and patient care, Suresh is aware that maintaining a human touch will offer his startup a formidable edge in the long run. "We recognize that technology is only one part of the equation," he says. "At DarDoc, we understand that healthcare is a deeply personal and emotional experience, and we strive to provide compassionate care to every patient we serve. To ensure that we maintain a strong human connection with our customers, we have established a toll-free customer support system. This allows us to hear and attend to patient feedback and concerns promptly, ensuring that every patient feels heard and cared for."

In the nearly two years since its launch, DarDoc has thus ensured that thousands of patients across the UAE have benefited from its solution. But it wasn't always smooth sailing in reaching out to the patients, Suresh reveals. "One of the biggest challenges we faced was the need to build awareness about our services, and educate customers about the benefits of home healthcare," he says. "However, with the support of the Dubai community and our dedicated team, we have been able to overcome these challenges, and build a successful business. Particularly in the case of the MBRIF program, we were drawn to its focus on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE, which we believe is essential for the continued growth and development of the region."

But reaching a wider audience wasn't all that the MBRIF accelerator program had to offer to DarDoc. "In addition to the program's overall mission, we were also impressed by the range of support services that it offers, including access to funding, mentorship, and training," Suresh says. "These resources have been invaluable for our startup, as we navigate the early stages of growth and development. Another unique aspect of the MBRIF program that stood out to us was the emphasis on sustainability and social impact. As a healthcare startup, we are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our patients, and we were pleased to see that the program shares this commitment to creating a better future for all."

Having already raised a pre-seed funding round of US$600,000, Suresh believes his startup is well positioned to continue its journey in making home healthcare services accessible to more patients across the UAE. "We are currently in the process of raising a seed round and will be making an announcement soon," Suresh says. "Looking towards the future, DarDoc has the potential to significantly transform the healthcare landscape in the UAE by providing affordable and accessible healthcare services to patients in the comfort of their homes. We believe that our innovative platform and focus on digitizing home healthcare operations will enable us to scale the business, and achieve long-term success."

Related: Startup Spotlight: Lebanon-Headquartered Mruna Is Bringing Its Urban Resilience Solutions To The UAE

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed

Features Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed is the Features Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East.

She is an MBA (Finance) graduate with past experience in the corporate sector, and was also co-founder of CyberSWIFTT- an anti-cyberbullying campaign that ran from 2017-2018 as part of the e7: Daughters of the Emirates program.

Ahmed is particularly keen on writing stories involving people-centric leadership, female-owned startups, and entrepreneurs who've beaten significant odds to realize their goals.

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