Health-tech startup bags $1 mln seed funding

By Thuy Tien   April 26, 2021 | 02:05 am PT
Vietnam-based health-tech startup Docosan has raised $1 million in its seed funding round led by Taiwanese venture capital firm AppWorks.

Singapore-based venture capitalist Huat Ventures and biotech entrepreneur David Ma also participated in the round.

Founded in January 2020, Docosan is an application connecting doctors and patients nationwide. The app enables patients to compare healthcare providers, book appointments, chat with healthcare assistants and manage health data for free.

It has recently added an online payment feature and plans to launch tele-health and pharmacy services.

According to its co-founder and CEO Beth Ann Lopez, people in Vietnam who use private healthcare providers have to "choose between over 30,000 private hospitals and clinics with huge variations in price and quality. This is why people use word of mouth recommendations from their families and friends to choose a healthcare provider. Then they show up at a hospital or clinic and wait in line, sometimes for hours."

Patients line up waiting for their turn to be examined in a hospital in Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock/Asia Images.

Patients wait for their turn to be examined at a Hanoi hospital. Photo by Shutterstock/Asia Images.

Instead, Docosan allows its users to filter medical providers with criteria like location and specialty, besides checking prices and verified customer reviews.

It claims to have helped 50,000 patients in Vietnam book appointments with doctors in 35 different fields.

Healthcare providers connected to the app get software assistance in managing bookings.

"Docosan’s medical booking app provides doctors with an easier way to manage appointments and prevent crowded waiting rooms, which people are increasingly wary of amid the pandemic," Lopez said.

Lopez, an American with a Masters in Public Health from Harvard, came to Southeast Asia in 2012 to work as a community health worker. In 2017, she worked for a Singapore-based pharma tech startup called mClinica and had the chance to go to Vietnam.

It was then she realized that booking an appointment with doctors was not a frequent practice in the country.

Vietnam has other health-tech startups that provide similar services, including eDoctor, BookingCare, and Jio Health.

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