07 September 2023 | Thursday | News
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The strategic move has placed the group in a prime position to positively impact healthcare in Asia Pacific. This is particularly timely for Singapore, as the nation-state transitions to value-based care in a health system capitation program dubbed "Healthier SG" rolling out this year.
AskDr has gained widespread traction for its innovative online health community (OHC) platform, which provides patients with easy access to trusted medical advice and personalized health information. Launched in the thick of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by founder Mr Brian Toh and co-founder Dr Dinesh Visva Gunasekeran, AskDr worked with volunteer doctors to address medical misinformation and remote medical professional training.
These problems had snow-balled as the COVID-19 outbreak progressed. The platform was popularised by volunteer doctors as a tool in the battle against the "infodemic" during COVID-19, by enabling patient-led medical discussions with the involvement of verified doctors as moderators for crowd-sourced, scalable, and data-driven public health promotion.
AskDr had grown its revenue base to include paying customers from Fortune 500 companies including Astra Zeneca, GSK, and Roche. "The acquisition is a great opportunity for our platform to reach a wider audience and to provide even more people with access to accurate and up-to-date health information while further empowering doctors to dispel medical misinformation at scale," said AskDr's CEO Mr. Brian Toh. "We are honoured to empower this body of doctors that contributed to the success of our platform. We will continue to support them in creating a lasting positive impact on healthcare in the region."
The acquisition of AskDr by Health Innovations has been completed for an undisclosed sum. This acquisition brings together a talented and well-capitalised team of experienced doctors, entrepreneurs, and health technology veterans who share a common vision: to enhance patient care and empower individuals to take control of their health journey.
"My colleagues and I are motivated to solve problems faced by our patients that we encounter on the ground in our practice of medicine. We are always looking for ways to improve things for our patients," said Dr. Gunasekeran.
"I am glad that we were able to solve major problems during the pandemic through this start-up and help allay some of the panic that ensued as the outbreak progressed." For co-founder Dr. Gunasekeran, this was not his first foray into digital health. He has had a prior successful enterprise SaaS telemedicine start-up that was acquired in 2018 and was previously featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Healthcare and Science.
The integration of AskDr's exceptional technology and expertise with the established practices of providers in Health Innovations is poised to reshape the digital health landscape in Asia Pacific. "With the acquisition of AskDr, we are thrilled to incorporate these digital capabilities in our plans to support a comprehensive healthcare ecosystem," said Health Innovation's Director, Dr. Gerard Lin.
"Together, we will accelerate the adoption of groundbreaking digital solutions for professional training, empower patients with reliable information, and help improve ease of access to high-quality healthcare services for patients."