It's well known that most patients will google their symptoms and signs when they fall ill. Patients use the internet extensively to research their disease; to check on the treatment options available to them; to connect with other patients; and to select the right doctor.
However, if there so many patients are online, why don't more Indian doctors have their own websites ? Indian doctors are considered to be well-read; well-informed; and their clinical skills are usually excellent. Moreover, India is an IT powerhouse , which means one would logically expect that most Indian doctors would have their own website, which they could use to attract more patients; and to educate their existing patients.
While many Indian doctors now do have their own email address ( though many senior doctors still do not use email; or get their secretary to read and write their emails for them), most still do not have their own website because they do not see the need for this.
Senior doctors who have a flourishing practise without a website are quite happy to continue coasting along on their reputation. They do not think a website will add any value to their practise , and are not interested in exploring this new platform. Some are suspicious of these new-fangled fads; while others will actively criticise doctors who have websites, because they feel they are a form of advertising - something which is below their dignity !
Other doctors understand the value of having their own website, but because they are not computer-savvy, they are not sure how to go about getting one. They are worried that having a website is a very expensive option - and are not willing to invest the time and energy in creating one. They'd rather continue muddling along in the fashion to which they are accustomed - and they are quite contented getting patients through kickbacks and referrals because they cannot think out of the box.
Many doctors are employed by corporate hospitals; and they feel that the corporate hospital website provides enough of an online presence for them. Some doctors have had an unhappy experience with website companies in the past. They have burned their fingers badly, and are no longer willing to trust computer professionals any more. Others have done a half-hearted job ( using free websites offered to them by pharma companies) ;and because these did not result in any tangible benefits, they have jumped to the wrong conclusion that it's not worth creating a website because not enough Indian patients are online.
This is a major error on their part. Internet penetration is increasing by leaps and bounds in India - especially with the introduction of 3GH services and inexpensive smartphones. Doctors who do not have their own website will start losing patients to doctors who are online - and this gap will increase progressively over time !
If you are in practise, you cannot afford to be left behind - and this is especially true of the younger generation of doctors, who need to establish their practise and attract patients.
Rule Number 1 for any successful doctor is - go to where the patients are ! In the past, the patients were in hospitals, which is why hospital attachments were so actively sought after. Today, it's a completely different world - and the best place to reach out to patients is the online world !
Clever companies such as Plus91 ( in which I am an angel investor) have realised that there is a huge opportunity for a startup in India which specialises in providing websites for doctors only. They have married technological expertise with medical knowledge, to create a great portfolio of websites for Indian doctors. Since this is their only niche, they have a lot of expertise and experience in this space, in which they have become market leaders ! They can set up a customised website for a doctor ( with your own domain name) within 3 days ! You can check out their work at www.websitefordoctors.in !