A Case Study With CallOnDoc


Telehealth took on a whole new importance in 2020, with the pandemic making virtual doctor visits an excellent alternative to spending time in a crowded clinic waiting room. 

However, there’s a lot more to telehealth than screenings for Covid-19 and diagnosing simple issues like ear infections. 

As the demand for telehealth services grows, certain providers are taking the lead with innovative service and more extensive service offerings. But to really succeed, telehealth providers have to go even further—balancing the convenience of their technology with exceptional patient care. 

One provider that’s checked all these boxes is CallOnDoc, a telehealth provider founded in 2017. CallOnDoc has risen above its competition due to several factors, including offering psychiatric evaluations, and expanding into remote management of chronic diseases. 

I recently spoke with CallOnDoc’s Rahil Saha about how they’ve built such a successful operation. 

Shama Hyder: Could you describe some of the differences between your tech platform and other telehealth platforms?  

Rahil Saha: When we built our tech platform, we had our doctors involved throughout the whole process, to ensure we were building the platform with patient care at its center. 

For example, so that patients don’t have to wait too long to be seen, we have systems in place that tell doctors the amount of time they have to complete a consultation. Also, a lot of work is automated before it gets to the doctor—patients answer automated questions pre-consultation, so our doctors can be very fast and efficient and not make the patients repeat or re-explain things.

There are some platforms on the market that are so focused on tech, they miss the bigger picture of providing excellent patient care and delivering what patients want and need. We’re not compromising patient care because of the tech part of it. We’re making sure doctors are part of it every step of the way.

Our reviews say that our turnaround time is one of the best things about us. We are able to do that because of our customer platform as well (more on that below), and our tech was informed by working so closely with doctors.

Hyder: What kind of early investments and decisions were critical to your success? What lessons did you take away from those choices?

Saha: Building a custom platform from the ground up was one of the biggest investments we made. We could have used another SaaS platform, but we didn’t, and this was the best decision we made.

In fact, our platform has been so successful that we get daily requests from doctors across the country who want access to it. This is something we’re looking into in 2021—how to leverage what we’ve built and license it out for others to use.

 We were also one of the first telehealth providers to offer prescription refills. When we started,  a turnaround time of two hours, which is what we offer, was unheard of. This made a big difference in terms of gaining traction in the market. We saw where things were going early on.

 Hyder: What are some differences in the ways you work with patients, as opposed to other telehealth providers?

 Saha: We believe in building relationships with our patients. We’re not trying to be the next CityMD or MinuteClinic—we are a primary care physician, or a family doctor. We don’t see  CallOnDoc as just a place for our patients to come and go.

Because of this commitment to our patients, we try to make sure that patients get the same doctor every time they come back. Those physician-patient relationships are really important to us.

 Hyder: What are some changes you’ve made to your operations over the years? 

 Saha: The tech platform has gone through about 200 revisions by now! It’s always being changed and updated. We are always updating to make everything as new as possible.

We began by using contracted doctors in the beginning, but because patient care is so vital to us we shifted to hiring all doctors in-house. This was a strategic decision that we made because building that long-term care is what really matters.

Finding the balance that allows you to offer patients the best of both technology and patient care is a delicate process, but a critical consideration as the telehealth industry matures. And that’s true whether you’re focusing on quick consultations for everyday concerns, or a wider range of offerings for long-term patients.

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