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From Quacks to Qualified Care: How Medical Media is Revolutionizing Healthcare Access

From Quacks to Qualified Care: How Medical Media is Revolutionizing Healthcare Access

Finding a good doctor today often starts with calling family and friends or asking colleagues at work, hoping they know a reputable specialist. If this “live social network” doesn’t work, we turn to the internet, which seems to hold all the answers. A quick search, a few clicks, reading reviews, and soon we’re off to see an experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy doctor. It seems like a perfect plan, bound to succeed. However, the founders of Medical Media disagree. According to their data, only 2% of medical specialists are currently represented online and on social media. Moreover, there’s a significant risk of encountering fake reviews and fraud. This is the main challenge in the market: connecting top-notch doctors with grateful patients. Founders Zhaure and Zhansaya shared with Er10.media how Medical Media aims to achieve this goal.

From Quacks to Qualified Care: How Medical Media is Revolutionizing Healthcare Access

"100 Startup Stories of Kazakhstan" is a joint project by Er10 Media and Astana Hub. We highlight the achievements of Kazakhstani startups and showcase the most outstanding projects. Our heroes include participants of Astana Hub as well as other innovative and technological products and services. All materials are published in three languages – Kazakh, Russian, and English.

How did the idea for your startup come about? What was your starting point?

(Zhaure): Our company has been in the medical services marketing sector for over seven years. Drawing from our accumulated experience, we launched the Medical Media startup in 2023 to create information resources that promote professional medical specialists. We produce high-quality health content, filling the information gap and educating users, including citizens of Kazakhstan and neighboring countries. We interview top experts and specialists in their fields, discussing health and modern treatment methods in simple, understandable language. Our content is available in Kazakh and Russian. We've been working for over two years now, and our YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram channels have become extremely popular. Today, we truly understand that there is a significant lack of quality medical information.

From Quacks to Qualified Care: How Medical Media is Revolutionizing Healthcare Access

How did you identify the market's pain points? Did your experience help?

(Zhaure): A year ago, we conducted research to understand how people choose doctors. Firstly, as I mentioned earlier, there’s a lack of quality medical content that meets modern standards and the pace of today’s life in the information space. Secondly, we constantly receive direct messages from viewers requesting appointments with specific doctors. We fulfill these requests but realize that people get confused with communication channels and often cannot find the necessary doctors.

We identified three main bottlenecks. Firstly, it’s difficult to find a "personal" doctor because, out of 80,000 specialists, only about 2% are represented online. Popular specialists often don't have time for online activity and self-promotion. Secondly, booking an appointment with doctors is often challenging. Private clinics today are only 40-50% full. Thirdly, there’s a lack of verified reviews. This led to the decision to create a startup that helps doctors and patients connect, especially targeting the younger generation.

What is the essence of your startup?

(Zhansaya): We are creating an aggregator of medical specialists with easy appointment booking through expert content, similar to social networks. A potential patient watches a video of a particular doctor, reads reliable and verified reviews, understands their qualifications, and books an appointment. Currently, our project exists as a website. In the future, we plan to launch an app that will facilitate interaction with private clients and cover both B2B and B2C directions.

From Quacks to Qualified Care: How Medical Media is Revolutionizing Healthcare Access

What stage is your startup at now?

(Zhansaya): We are currently at the MVP stage. We’ve already launched our first videos on our platforms, and the response has been promising. For instance, a doctor without a personal digital brand gained 35 clients after just one video, generating a total revenue of 700,000 tenge, with 10% being our commission. We are now focused on developing the website and signing agreements with clinics. Initially, we plan to cover all major private medical institutions in Almaty.

What challenges have you faced while developing your startup? How did you overcome them?

(Zhansaya): We had numerous hypotheses and initially aimed to enter the info-business by offering courses for doctors, producing them in the information space, and launching qualification improvement programs. However, these ideas didn’t materialize, and we ended up spending all of 2023 on unfruitful efforts. But once we decided to leverage our strengths—creating content and addressing market pain points innovatively—our business took off. Now, things are going well, and we see that the market needs us.

(Zhaure): Technological appointment booking through content viewing is just the beginning. We have grand plans to revolutionize the medical field with innovations within one to two years. However, we’ll keep these plans under wraps for now.

What are your future plans? What markets do you aim to conquer and in which countries do you plan to expand?

(Zhaure): We are developing our project to easily scale in major cities of Kazakhstan and later in neighboring countries. Once we connect major clinics in Almaty, we’ll start collaborating with international colleagues in Turkey and South Korea to activate and make medical tourism more accessible.

So, you have grand plans. Do you want to become an international unicorn?

(Zhansaya): Absolutely! If you start an IT startup, you should set such a goal from the outset.

From Quacks to Qualified Care: How Medical Media is Revolutionizing Healthcare Access

Who will benefit from your startup first?

(Zhaure): First and foremost, young people who struggle to find doctors. They are used to finding information online, but as we mentioned earlier, doctors are poorly represented on the internet and social networks. Our platform’s content will make their search and choice easier. Of course, there are similar aggregators, but they mostly offer boring text descriptions. Young people need lively content and doctors who match their mood, charisma, emotions, and even appearance. This builds trust with medical specialists.

Our second target audience is doctors and clinics. We save them resources and time on marketing by attracting patients. In the end, everyone wins.

What do you see as your startup’s main mission?

(Zhansaya): We want to deliver accessible scientific medical knowledge to everyone. We aim to protect people from charlatans and frauds, pushing those who charge 200,000 tenge for consultations and then harm patients out of the medical market. Everyone must understand that timely diagnosis and a preventive approach with experienced and verified medical specialists can save health and lives.

(Zhaure): Our long-term goal is to increase preventive visits to clinics for a range of dangerous diseases, including breast and cervical cancer and eye diseases like glaucoma. These are "silent" diseases that develop without symptoms. We hope that spreading medical knowledge, including through our channel, will increase early detection of dangerous diseases, allowing successful treatment.

Thanks to our online presence, we can reach residents in both cities and rural areas with internet access. For instance, the government offers free screenings, but people don’t understand the seriousness and don’t go for examinations. I believe that thorough informational work will gradually change this situation and foster a proper attitude towards health among Kazakhstani citizens.

What do you see as the future of your startup and your industry? How will technologies evolve?

(Zhansaya): I believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will become commonplace and a widespread technology within a few years. It will handle almost all preliminary work in diagnostics and therapy, with doctors stepping in for the final expert conclusions. We will see everything becoming automated—without AI, it won't be possible anymore.

From Quacks to Qualified Care: How Medical Media is Revolutionizing Healthcare Access

Do you think this will be a plus for doctors, making everything faster and more efficient, or will it cause them to lose their skills and qualifications?

(Zhaure): Undoubtedly, this will be a positive trend. Currently, many young specialists, especially in the public sector, lack knowledge and experience. They need assistance and skill development. Additionally, the human brain cannot retain all-encompassing information, especially in such a complex field as medicine. A doctor cannot physically know and remember all diseases, especially rare ones. In this case, AI will assist medical professionals but will not replace them.

(Zhansaya): In our view, the medical field will become more efficient and effective. AI will give a significant boost to its development.

Do you think Kazakhstan offers favorable conditions for the development of startups?

(Zhansaya): I believe that Kazakhstan indeed offers very attractive conditions for startup development. We participate in various programs to the maximum, receiving necessary resources and comprehensive support. For example, we are graduates of the Smart City acceleration program by Most Hub.

We see startups being provided with platforms for training, development, pitching, and finding investments. For instance, the reduced tax rate is also a big plus.

(Zhaure): We are very pleased that colleagues in the startup community actively share their experiences and information. We couldn’t imagine being treated with such attention and care. In the early stages of our project, we gathered business development information bit by bit, but it turned out that by being in the right environment and an acceleration program, you can gather the necessary information almost without limits. It’s amazing that even top market players are ready to meet and share their experiences with you.

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