A new website that allows Qatar residents to find and rate doctors and healthcare providers here has been launched this month by four Education City students and alum.
The portal, Meddy, is the brainchild of recent Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMUQ) graduate, 21-year-old Haris Aghadi.
Along with 22-year-old teammate Maahd Shahzad, another recent graduate, and 21-year-old seniors Ali Naqi and Abdulla Al Khenji, the team said the website aims to help residents with their medical needs.
The site officially launched Aug. 3 after beta testing over the past few months. So far, some 200 doctors are currently listed on Meddy, and can be searched for by name, speciality, gender or clinic.
It comes as Qatar’s healthcare industry, while growing at a rapid clip, has been straining to accommodate the nation’s growing population, frustrating many.
Meddy measures healthcare in Qatar through metrics like clinic locations, doctor profiles, doctor reviews and waiting times.
The latter two are user-generated, relying on consumers to rank and review doctors they’ve visited, and estimate waiting times for various clinics that do not schedule appointments.
Additionally, clinic locations are synced with Google Maps for easier access.
“We’re constantly testing out new features and removing those that people aren’t using. Our goal now is to start an aggressive user acquisition, and gain traction and traffic,” Aghadi told Doha News.
Production and development
Explaining the inspiration behind the project, Aghadi said Meddy started out as an idea in a class he took called Tech Startup Launch Pad.
“We wanted to do something about the healthcare system here. People were struggling to find good doctors. They generally relied on help from friends and other families who have lived in Qatar, but expats, who were new to Qatar, didn’t have the established system to rely on for recommendations. That’s where Meddy comes in. It is essentially a community review site that helps you make informed decisions.”
After the class, Aghadi, Shahzad, and Naqi teamed up during a product development course over the summer, developing a beta version of the site, before officially launching this month.
The team said they drew heavily on the help and guidance of CMUQ faculty and staff, including a professor who previously worked at Silicon Valley.
But despite the assistance, consolidating information for the site posed some challenges.
“As this is something entirely new, people didn’t really take us seriously at first,” said Aghadi, adding, “It’s hard for people to talk to you about health care (as) it’s a sensitive topic. Information is also not readily available in the region in general, and access to relevant healthcare is hard.”
Additionally, they also faced technical challenges related to the production of the site itself. Because students at CMUQ focus more on development, as opposed to implementation, the team had to learn more about managing bandwidth, computing power and servers, Shahzad said.
In terms of establishing a business model, the team is mulling generating profit by charging doctors for ads and other services.
They are also seeking investors to help further develop the website over the coming months.
Hahaha… Payback time …
So where is your comment on the Vodafone story? 🙂
(S)He was under (her)his bridge and missed it 😉
If this project takes off, these guys need to make sure they have a good lawyer. I am pretty sure some doctors and clinics will not be happy seeing their income decreasing because of a website developed by some students. Unless reviews are authenticated, the website will be a legal mess. And it is already the case for this kind of projects in many Western countries, so they’d better be cautious on that side of things and may be allow doctors and clinics to object to some reviews and request the right to respond to critics.
What a really bad idea. A way to take personal grudges out on doctors and will probably lead to more leaving Qatar due to unwarranted libel. Qatar needs more good doctors, not a system which in some ways names and shames. It is the hospital and the medical regulators job to maintain the standards in Qatar.
Most of the ministries are run by members of the royal family, will you create a website that rates their performance? No. Yes I thought not…..
Definitely not a bad idea, but a risky one. Some clinics might hire people to attack other clinics and doctors and give them bad reviews. Some others would hire people to bombard the site with positive reviews. And most importantly, many clinics and doctors will threaten them and sue them. The sdame happened and is still happening to Yelp, Amazon, Trip Advisor and the likes. However, these are big groups and can afford to go into lengthy and costly legal battle. I am not sure these students have that ability, and I am not sure the Qatari jurisdiction is equipped to deal with this kind of issues.
The idea is good in theory and in a perfect world would work, but alas nowhere on earth is full of perfect humans. It’s not like a hotel review and you can imagine some people not happy with their diagnosis or not getting treatment they want because the doctor does not agree taking out their ‘revenge’ on sites like this. You are 100% correct on the legal situation, most developed countries struggle with these issue, in Qatar it would be a disaster.
You could see doctors and nurses start thinking it’s not worth working in Qatar anymore and just leave. Qatar would get a reputation and employment of professionals would become even harder.
We started Meddy to be a platform where doctors and clinics can get constructive criticism directly from their patients so that they can improve their bedside manner, which is a huge problem experienced by several people in Qatar. It’s not a place for personal grudges, I understand that it might turn into that but we moderate the reviews. Having community reviews is not a new thing in Qatar, there are tons of people on ILQ and QL complaining about bad doctors and clinics in Qatar. They are also asking for good doctor recommendations. So we just created a dedicated platform for people to get doctor recommendations.
On the contrary, Supreme Council of Health just recently announced that they plan to launch a website for people to submit complaints about private doctors and clinics in order to improve the healthcare in the country.
I can’t sign up… Why can’t I sign up.. Fix the bug
We just tested sign up and it’s working just fine for us. Can you please send us a screenshot of the error at [email protected]
I can’t sign up as well … nor vote … doesn’t even give me the chance for it. Will send an email with the screen shot shortly …
Thanks for letting us know. We sincerely apologize for the inconveneince this may have caused. Please send us a screenshot of the error at [email protected] and we will fix the issue. Also note, that in order to vote, or post a review, you need to be logged in, which is why the website is not letting you do that.
Just re-sent my initial email as I forgot to attach the document. Hope you received it, and it’s not in your spam folder 😉
Haha I agree. I understand that this project can go wrong but it’s important to support entrepreneurship in this country. If you’re going to moderate the reviews, and at the same time provide constructive criticism to doctors and try to make the healthcare system better for all, then seriously kudos to you!
We have a very similar website in the U.S. http://www.healthgrades.com/ it is quite popular, and many go there prior to choosing a doctor.
This is good and bad news. It is good to expose those doctors and clinics that are poorly trained and don’t give a rat’s behind about patient care.
On the flip side clinics may have their employees go online to brag about how good their doctors are and bash doctors from other clinics.
I wonder why not even a single doctor from HMC Hospitals or from the PHCC? Yet they are said to be the biggest hospita networkl in middle east?
Currently, we are only focusing on private healthcare. Soon we’ll be adding doctors from the HMC and PHCC
Another way to possibly generate revenue is to have the public pay a nominal fee for a year’s subscription, kinda like Angie’s list, to get detailed info on the different care providers
Thanks for your comment. However, we don’t plan on charging the public in the near future.