Digital health has finally reached the Middle East with Beirut-based tech startup eTobb, an online medical Q&A platform connecting patients and doctors. With the sole mission of improving access to healthcare, the eTobb founders created this platform to allow people to share their health concerns with certified physicians and receive reliable and case-specific information that helps them make more informed decisions. “As opposed to people googling health information that is most often inaccurate and general, eTobb is trustworthy and caters to an individual’s specific needs” says co-founder & CEO of eTobb, Paul Saber. Moreover, the platform is secure as it protects users’ privacy by keeping their identity anonymous and it is free of charge.
eTobb saves people time, money and effort when it comes to getting the information they want, simply with a click of a button. In addition to asking questions, members can also find doctors according to specific filters and view their professional profiles. This allows people to get a sense of the person on the other side of the screen, but it also allows physicians to showcase their accomplishments to the world. Users can also browse existing Q&As which are categorized in health topics.
The platform hosts over 700 physicians who cover 38 medical specialties and who are affiliated with top medical institutions. Most doctors are Lebanese but eTobb is currently expanding to other countries.
eTobb does not replace a physical consultation; it should be used for informational purposes only. Dr. Jinan Usta, Family Medicine specialist at the American University of Beirut, says “Sometimes they ask really intimate questions and that's the advantage of going over the website; I would say they feel more relaxed about asking a doctor these questions if they're sure the doctor will not know who they are”.
Running this startup are co-founders Paul Saber, Sara Helou and Jad Joubran who met during the Seeqnce Accelerator Program in 2012. All three founders quit their past jobs as employees to become work on eTobb and make a change in the world.
eTobb is launching an Arabic version early December to cater for the 15,000+ Arabic speaking users already on its waiting list.