Doctor Consultation and Search Website Guide: Business Model and Features

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83% of people in the USA search for medical related information online. Think what would be global number. Entrepreneurs across the world probably thought the same when they came up with doctor consultation, and search related ventures.

There are ample doctor question-answer based websites where a user can ask questions and consult qualified doctors. Most offer the functionality to posting medical queries after creating an account on the website and receive advice.

Medical portals that offer the service of asking questions to doctors has been so successful that it has started the rush to start their clones. If you are planning the same, then, you need to understand the features, functionality and revenue model of such websites in detail. Let’s first discuss the business model and know how such websites make money. After that we‟ll proceed to the website features and functionality.

Business Model

Doctor consultation portals are simple question answer sites on which anyone can make an account and post health related questions. The main business model of similar ask-doctor websites has been explained below:

  • Users can post health related questions.
  • Questions get assigned to doctors based on category of the question.
  • High priority answers can be requested at a small fee
  • All asked questions form a database which can be accessed by anyone.

The unique business model offers plenty of scope for monetization. But before you make up your mind to launch a clone, let‟s get to know about revenue model and website features.

Revenue Generation Model

Growth of popular websites is driven by a solid revenue generation system. FATbit business analysts studied the revenue model of leading industry names, and came to know that most are using 2 types of revenue streams.

Google Adsense:

This method is working brilliantly as every question asked by a user gets added in the database and is assigned a new page. More the number of pages, more the visibility of ads and more the revenue generated.

Adding Google Adsense to your doctor Q-A clone is a sure shot way to generate a good revenue.

Paid Questions

This is another way to monetize your question-answer site for doctors. You can choose to charge small fee for quick answers or well-detailed answers.

Above two make smart revenue generation method which can easily be implemented. Keep the pricing low to get maximum paid answer queries.

Now, it is time to gain insights about creating the perfect homepage for your doctor consultation portal.

Homepage

The homepage will work best with simplicity. Reserve the top fold for sign-up and sign-in option along with a bar to ask question. Share impressive site numbers once you have built a user base. If you have partnered with experienced doctors, don’t hesitate to show their photo. Let’s dig deeper into homepage features:

Sign-Up/Sign-In

Keep sign-in and sign-up separate. Make sure the forms are easy to fill and small in nature, Use field validation to help visitors fill the forms quickly.

Sign Up as a Doctor

  • Provision of admin approval for doctor accounts
  • Education and experience verification process after initial sign up

‘Ask Question’ functionality

The core functionality of the website is about asking questions. So, you need to place the feature of posting question in the first fold of the website itself. Here are some helpful points:

  • Make the question posting bar prominent
  • Category field can also be used.
  • Option to add more details

Recently Answered Questions

Give a clear idea of the type of questions posted and the answers given by doctors with recently answered and featured questions section on homepage. The option to upvote answers and request edits can also be added to enhance answers. Quora can give interesting insights to build an engaging Q&A platform.

Footer Section

The footer section can contain links to different pages which include About Us, Blog, Contact, Legal Information and Careers. Also make space for social media buttons and medical affiliations if any.

Now let’s move on to other interesting website features.

Website Features and Functionality

The success of doctor consultation platforms lies in their ease of use. Certain impressive features have been listed below for your reference:

Types of Users:

Before moving ahead to critical site features, let‟s see the type of users who will access the website and what features can be provided to each type.

Guest visitors

  • Can browse all questions and read through the answers.
  • Can see the number of doctors online at a given time.
  • Can access ‘ask a question’ page but cannot post a question.

Registered Users (Patients)

  • Can browse all questions on the website and read through the answers.
  • Can see the number of patients and doctors online at a given time.
  • Can post unlimited questions.
  • Can pay the consultation to get an answer on priority basis.
  • Can follow health topics for new questions posted in that topic.
  • Have access to “My questions” within the account.

Features for registered members have been explained in the upcoming section.

Registered Users (Doctors)

  • Doctor accounts approval by the admin.
  • Doctors can answer the questions.
  • Number of questions answered is available for internal use.

Admin

  • Manages questions and answers.
  • Manages registered members (Patients).
  • Manages registered doctors.
  • Can assign questions to doctors.
  • Manages payments for priority questions.

Additional admin features can be added if you choose a customizable clone script to launch your doctor consultation platform.

Planning to launch question-answer based website?
Discuss your idea

Ask a Question Feature

Answering questions posted by users is the main feature of the website. So, create a special page containing a form where users can post their questions. Main fields of “ask a doctor online” form have been listed below.

Form Fields:

  • Question.
  • Symptoms.
  • Category.
  • Title.
  • Medical history
  • Contact details

Functionality of ‘Ask Question’ feature:

  • Posted questions get assigned to different doctors based on category.
  • A special page for each question.
  • Answer is sent to the user, and is also listed below the question on website.
  • An option to pay the fee to get answer on priority basis
  • Rich accounts section

Browse Question Answers (Database Section)

Develop a vast database of question and answers to generate more ad income through clicks and enrich your platform. Make provision to add every question being asked by a user in the category chosen at the time of posting the question.

Some unique features of popular Q&A directories are:

  • Intuitive arrangement of topics.
  • Further categorization of questions in a particular topic based on Most Popular, Most Shared, etc.
  • Linking of blog posts with questions

Real time data sharing

Users love to engage with websites with an active audience. Show that that you are a lively community by sharing doctors and patients online. The mention of such numbers makes the site more credible and acts as a motivational factor for a user to ask question.

Informative Blog

Share health related information and informative guides on your blog. This will be difficult without a blog powered by easy to manage CMS.  Blogging is important to increase your reach among targeted audience. We suggest the same for your own doctor query sharing clone

Powerful search

The Question and Answer directory is a unique way to present the previously asked questions on the website. To make the user experience richer, a search feature for this section can be a great addition. Auto-complete functionality can further enhance platform search and appeal.

UX focused design and navigation

Creating  doctor consultation and search platform will be rewarding only if your site is easy to navigate and browse. So, even if you are planning to build your site on a clone script, don’t hesitate to invest in design upgrade. This will greatly add to your question-answer site’s appeal.

Help Section

Not everyone is master of using search driven websites. Hence, there is need to make provision of comprehensive Help section. Frequently Asked Questions can be an interesting addition. It will help users understand how the site works and answers all vast range of queries. Chat support can also go a long way in establishing you as online doctor search and consultation leader. 

The Bottom Line for Q&A sites

Doctor consultation platforms are based on a unique business model where the site pays doctors to answer questions posted by patients and in turn earns money from advertisements to compensate doctors. According to a survey, 44 million people in the USA do not have health insurance. This means there is a big set of people who would love to consult professional doctors for less.

If you are planning to launch a similar site, then this is the right time to do so. Health topics are one of the most widely searched topics on the internet and there are not many sites providing such services. A site with excellent interface and flawless features can reach out to millions of users very quickly. But make sure you have all the advance features.
Learn how much an advanced doctor Q&A site will cost you?
Get price idea.

Disclaimer: The Blog has been created with consideration and care. We strive to ensure that all information is as complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Despite our continuing efforts, we cannot guarantee that the information made available is complete, correct, accurate or up-to-date. We advise - the readers should not take decisions completely based on the information and views shared by FATbit on its blog, readers should do their own research to further assure themselves before taking any commercial decision. The 3rd party trademarks, logos and screenshots of the websites and mobile applications are property of their respective owners, we are not directly associated with most of them.



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Comments (4)
FATbit Chef Post author

Hello Amosis,

Thanks for reaching us out. One of our representative will get back to you soon.

Cheers

Aarti Singh Gupta

Hi there ! I am interested to come up with the ask a doctor kind of portal. Went through your advice. Looking for some more suggestions. Kindly get back to me.