DocTap – Alex Hamilton
Alex Hamilton’s health tech startup ‘DocTap’ is the Uber for doctors making private healthcare more affordable for everyone.
DocTap‘s private GP service helps people get last-minute doctor’s appointment on the same-day from as little as £29.
The 29-year-old army Captain turned entrepreneur discovered his business idea after developing a chronic back problem while serving with the Irish Guards.
“After spending 5 years, I wanted to experience working for myself”
“I wanted to do something different, unlike my army colleagues who left to work in JP Morgan and other areas of finance, for which they would have to wear a suit every day and retrain on someone else’s term.
In a slightly stubborn way, I wanted to do my own thing and learn on my own terms.
The army is very good at giving you time once you’ve decided that you’re leaving to plan what you’re doing next.
They’ve influenced what I do now, from communicating with doctors to people that I work with – It takes a fair amount of blind confidence to walk into an NHS surgery and ask “I’ll like to rent a room off you“.
I had to leave the army, back in March 2015, because I had a problem with my back. I could have stayed in a desk job but after spending 5 years, I felt I wanted to experience working for myself and be my own boss.
I wanted to do a startup so I spent some few months looking around at different industries before hitting upon the private healthcare center.
It was ripe for innovation, quite stagnant, fraught with various problems such as long waiting lists and high prices for private appointments, and just a bit of inequality as well.
Those are the three problems that we really wanted to address while also introducing a very sleek and easy to use technology.
And that’s where my co-founder, Dan Faber, comes in. I met Dan through a friend and what I thought would be a 20 mins discussion about finding someone to write the code and the software needed, we discovered a business model of having an Uber for doctors.
This would see freelance doctors downloading our apps and patients making a request for a home or office doctor visit.
I wanted to have a product and a company that caters to everyone. From a business view, it makes sense to have a product that appeals to people more. Also for communication and ethos level, I didn’t want DocTap to be an elitist company but instead have clinics all over London, while making the price convenient for people.
“We want to have a DocTap clinic close to everybody living in London”
DocTap is London’s first affordable private GP service. We aim to provide short notice and same day GP appointments to not just people who are privileged enough to be able to afford private healthcare, but to everyone.
We think that our price point, with our lowest price been £29, falls within what people on below average income could afford if they really wanted to.
We don’t want to make the NHS look bad in any way – We plan to operate effectively alongside them and hopefully alleviate some of the pressure on their waiting list while providing patients with a service that really meets their needs.
As we haven’t done any marketing, we soft launched on 6th June 2016 to test a few things – To see how easy its for patients to find us, to test that all of our clinical software and equipment are functioning correctly, to test that the doctors enjoy using it and to see what times patients prefer to come to us.
Our big launch is 4th July and that is actually when we would have appointments every day of the week. To begin with, only in the afternoon for patients to book but only in the weekends.
The Spitalfields practice is the site of our first DocTap clinic – It’s essentially a pilot project and as soon as we’ve got everything right at Spitalfields, which I hope would be quite soon, then we would move into other areas of London.
Alongside the clinics within the NHS surgeries, we anticipate spreading into other locations nearby and having overflow clinics in the same areas.
We want to have a DocTap clinic close to everybody living in London – so that could be 10 surgeries within half an hour of people or 30 surgeries within 10 mins of everyone.
I really believe this is a model that we can take to pretty much any area in London no matter how affluent.
We also have an app coming probably by Autumn, this year, which would allow patients who book regular appointments to make it easy and quicker.”
Advice for others – “Ensure you are interested enough in the product or the end goal in order to keep motivated.”