A little over a year ago, Zineb Yacoubi’s young son fell ill with a fever while his normal pediatrician was out of town. She searched the yellow pages, but felt that she did not want to trust her son’s health to some random doctor.
She eventually found a solution to her problem, but it inspired in her a belief that there were others with a similar problem. Therefore, she teamed up with Driss Kaitouni to found DabaDoc, a Morocco-based service that allows users to search for doctors and book appointments.
On their website, which is exclusively in French, users search (for free) for doctors by city, speciality, and language spoken. Even before going to the doctor, users are provided a section on the DabaDoc website to ask health questions and receive answers about their ailments.
The company promotes this as a way to save the patient time and to help in finding an appropriate physician. Then, if necessary, the patient can examine the doctor’s certification and then go ahead and book an appointment. ZocDoc has become a leader in this market in the United States, but Yacoubi says that they do not have direct competitors in this area in Morocco.
Since it launched in October, the service has exploded in popularity, attracting 60K fans on Facebook. Yacoubi says that 150 primary-care doctors, 500 specialists (covering 72 different specialities), and 100 in 20 Moroccan cities have started to use this service and they see dozens of appointments arranged on a daily basis. Although they launched only 8 months ago, they are already considering taking their model and attempting to replicate it in neighboring countries.