Doctors on Demand
How it started
John Martin and John Neilson previously owned a string of regional pharmacies in northwest Queensland and northern New South Wales, as well as a large medical centre in Brisbane.
However long wait times for patients to see a GP meant regional pharmacists were having to turn people away who didn’t have the correct prescriptions. In the Brisbane centre, however, there were a dozen doctors who often had gaps in their schedules.
Martin and Neilson put their heads together to solve the disconnect, becoming pioneers of telehealth for 24/7 primary care services.
Doctors on Demand now services more than 140,000 registered patients and 3800 pharmacies offering video consultations, repeat prescriptions, medical certificates and referrals. It also provides a B2B product, allowing partners and employers to offer their own white-labelled telehealth offerings.
The business has seen particular growth in its B2C segment over the past 12 months, with the number of video consultations increasing by 130%, and monthly visitors to the website topping 65,000 — up 66%.
Where to next?
The COVID-19 pandemic and the mass shift to digital means the genie is well and truly out of the bottle for virtual healthcare. The Doctors on Demand team is now focusing on further developing the tech, and branching into new services such as support for patients with chronic disease.
In many ways, Australia is behind the curve in the telehealth trend, the founders say, with a significant proportion of the populations in the US and UK using online services regularly.
That means there’s an opportunity here, the founders say. And with their eye on becoming a $100 million company, they’re ready to take it.