Dawi is currently integrating a telemedicine offering into its services. “Telemedicine has been a buzzword since the Covid crisis started,” notes Habib. She says it is too simplistic to understand this only as a doctor-patient interaction over a live chat application or interface; it should be integrated into a comprehensive network for healthcare delivery as an additional component and not as a replacement for face-to-face contact and consultation.
“Physician-patient interaction cannot be entirely consummated over remote chat.” Telehealth tools are also valuable, she adds, for physicians to use when they want to consult with their peers on a specific case.
Dawi is constantly being approached by health-tech startups. “Like any startup scene, some of them will succeed, some will not succeed. The market will clear itself out within the next couple of years.”
She does see potential in the different layers of technology that can assist physicians to provide better healthcare. Firstly, the applications required to capture medical data should be in place to get the data digitised. Secondly, is the layer where physicians can access decision-support tools when analysing the data. “The intelligent tools built into your day-to-day workflow will help the physicians tremendously,” says Habib. Thirdly, there is the aspect of patient empowerment, where the data is accessible to patients and they feel part of the decision-making process where it concerns their health.
“It is a layered approach. You have to have the data, then the physician access tools that are intelligent enough and then the patient engagement tools. And on top of all that, you can have a telemedicine layer,” explains Habib.
Currently, the company has grown its reach to 12 clinics. These are spread across Cairo, as well as the cities of Tanta and Mansoura.
Going back to the Starbucks comparison, she explained that Dawi prefers to expand its network in terms of a cluster approach. “We like to have a few clinics that are geographically close to each other so that we can manage them from an administrative and supervisory level as a cluster. Our target is definitely to reach all urban centres around Egypt. We have started with the East Delta, then West Delta, and yes, definitely Upper Egypt and Canal Zone as well.”
In the next two to three years, says Habib, Dawi Clinics is aiming to bump up its number of clinics to 50.