Webdunia has launched a niche social networking site for doctors and health care professionals. The site is also open to medical students, hospitals and medical institutions.  The company also claims that the site will allow the general public to interact with Doctors and get online support (for free?).

For The Doctors

The site allows professionals to keep in touch with each other and network; medical institutions and professionals can list vacancies for jobs and get job listings as well.

More importantly, it allows doctors to create profile pages with a customized URL, hoping that it will become a digital business card for the doctor. Users can search for doctors by name, city and category.

The Doctors forum and Health Forum both look exclusively for doctors and medical professionals.

Revenue Model

While the company has said that the revenue model for the time being will be advertising based, we think that they could include other services: perhaps charge users for professional advice, or allows  users to book doctor’s appointments, similar to the service launched by in Sri Lanka by Bharti Airtel, powered by e-Channelling PLC. Webdunia does plan to introduce premium services in the future.

For The Common Man

In the Queries section users can fill up a form, and receive an email notification in case a doctor answers the query. The search by symptoms is an interactive feature looks very useful for finding doctors according to specific symptoms.

There is a 2-D model of a male, female or child, which ever a user chooses. On the right hand side of the model are a list of body parts and on clicking on any body part another list with symptoms that affect the body part appear. User can choose a symptom and a list of doctors dealing with the specific illness opens in a new window.

For example, on choosing head i got a list of symptoms starting with ‘confusion’ (I did know that confusion could be a symptom for any illness). On choosing ‘confusion’ I got a list of doctors including physicians and neurologist. The results would be more satisfactory if a location filter would be integrated with this feature so people get a list of doctors dealing with specific symptoms and illnesses and in their city.

One more benefit that prospective patients can get from this site is that you do not need to register as a member to view doctor’s profile. This gives people a fair idea of a doctor, his specialisation, experience and his qualification even before meeting him or her in person.

What I didn’t like

What really turned me off were pictures of someone having a heart surgery, someone’s tumour, skin diseases and body deformities. It doesn’t need to be this graphic, frankly.

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