Entrepreneurial projects that involve women and are contributing to their uplift and wellbeing are sorely needed in Pakistan. This is where DoctHERs, a women-led startup that features exclusively female medical professionals has come into being. And the best part, they’ve secured a place in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise Forum (MITEF)’s entrepreneurship development program.
‘Many startups that join MITEF’s entrepreneurship program have seen their revenues increase by 5x to 10x times. Even their valuation increases by 15x’. – Pakistan Software Export Board
What is DoctHERs?
Think of DoctHERs as the startup that helps millions of poor patients get access to female doctors. Since the patients may reside in far-flung and other hard to reach areas, the startup aims to connect doctors and patients via internet-enabled technologies, video conferencing, community midwives, on-ground nurses, and community health workers.
A Medial Emergency and Social Issue Solved
Currently, statistics reveals that only 25% of registered doctors are women even when there’s 80% female medical school students. According to Dr. Sara Khurram (Co-Founder and Project Director of DoctHERs), socio-cultural constraints are to blame for this state of affairs.
Dr. Sara hopes that this gap is minimized with the help of advanced communication technologies so that lady health professionals who are married or raising kids can still impart their skills and training. This way they can join the workforce. The startup also provides training for community health workers (trusted nurses) or community midwives so that they are at hand to assist patients at the point-of-care.
This innovative idea can solve a pertinent Pakistani social problem as well revitalize the health sector here. This potential was also recognized by MITEF’s Business Acceleration Programme (BAP), helping DoctHERs secure the first place in ‘Women-led Startups’ Category.
What is BAP?
BAP is a contest held annually for Pakistan’s IT, telecom and new media companies. Its aim is to take in 15 companies and provide them four months of mentoring and training so that they are ready to compete in three categories: Women-led Startups, Existing Business and Researchers. The ultimate prize for the winners? A fully-funded entrepreneurship development programme (EDP) at MIT in Cambridge that can go a long way to making Pakistani startups more globally oriented and prepared.