Identical twin sisters have formed a national partnership with their Doctors.com.au platform and Cancer Council Australia on a mission to prevent unnecessary illness and death by reminding people of the need for regular health check-ups and screenings.
Doctors.com.au is an online portal that will not only enable doctors and patients to better manage their healthcare but will also use data such as patient age and gender to target people with important health messages and reminders – in particular, vital Cancer Council Australia messages about regular cancer screenings.
And $1 from each new patient booking is donated to Cancer Council Australia.
Sisters Lidia Nancovski and Lana Klimovski hope Doctors.com.au will save lives – especially with so many cancer deaths being preventable if caught early enough.
Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said: “Prevention and early detection is a focus for us, so when Lidia and Lana came to us with their vision for Doctors.com.au, we were inspired.
“Their platform focuses on the ongoing healthcare we all need. That means things like reminders for your next screening and age-dependent regular check-ups. We are really looking forward to the journey ahead with Doctors.com.au.”
Amid a global pandemic when many people were afraid or unable to go to their doctor for regular check-ups – for example, breast cancer screenings in April 2020 were down 98 per cent compared with April 2018 – Lidia and Lana saw a real need for Doctors.com.au to boost preventative healthcare.
“Almost half of Australians have a preventable illness, which is an alarming figure,” Lidia said.
Already more than 40,000 new patients a month are searching the Doctors.com.au database of 32,100 medical practices and booking appointments.
The next phase of development, for which they are currently raising funds via OnMarket, will enable practices to better manage patient care through online bookings, patient forms and prescriptions, telehealth, and scheduling – including follow-up appointments, dental, physio visits and more.
An exciting new innovation is an AI-driven technology that will also collate data based on age, gender, and last appointment to target people with reminders and messages about regular screenings – particularly cancer screenings – and enable targeted Cancer Council push notices for general cancer awareness.
It is a cause close to the sisters’ hearts, after watching their grandparents suffer and die from cancer and heart disease.
“It was heartbreaking seeing one grandmother going through chemotherapy for cervical cancer, and the other for breast cancer, and watching their health deteriorate,” Lana said.
“We were very close to all our grandparents, we lived with two of them – three generations of the one family under the one roof,” Lidia said.
“For our grandmothers’ generation, they really didn’t have the knowledge or the understanding about the need for regular check-ups – or felt uncomfortable about having them,” Lana said.
“We want to ensure more people are aware of the need – and in fact are having the check-ups and screenings.”
While Lidia went on to study marketing and Lana IT, the desire was always there to use Doctors.com.au to do good. “We both have the skills to create the website, and we both have a passion to help others,” Lidia said.
And while the platform will enable its customers – the medical practices – to better manage patients and increase revenue through regular visits, ultimately it is about improving health outcomes.
General surgeon at Melbourne’s Austin Health, Jasmina Kevric says: “Doctors.com.au helps with good practice management but what is truly special is their AI that focuses on preventative healthcare. As a surgeon, there is nothing worse than having to inform a patient of a poor diagnosis that could have easily been prevented if they had followed their screening schedule.”
And for Lidia and Lana, more people booking appointments via Doctors.com.au is not just good for their business, “it means more illness and deaths hopefully being prevented,” they said.
Victorian woman Karen Coulson backed the initiative, saying she knew first-hand the importance of regular screening.
Karen, a mum of three, was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 50 after undertaking a routine screening with BreastScreen, part of the National Screening Program which is partially funded by the Cancer Council. The Council also strongly advocates for BreastScreen.
“With no symptoms or family history I was shocked when I discovered I had the early stages of breast cancer, but so fortunate to catch it at an early stage to get it under control,” she said.
“I now have yearly check-ups – my latest was only four weeks ago. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of preventative screening. By attending Breastscreen when I became eligible for routine screening saved my life and now at 62, I live a healthy, happy life.”
Karen has passed on her important message to her two daughters, who will definitely get screened when they hit 40, which is when eligibility to take part in free screening begins.
For more information or an interview with Lidia and Lana, Karen Coulson, or Todd Harper, please contact Jeni O’Dowd at firstname.lastname@example.org
About: Doctors.com.au is an online portal for medical appointments and scheduling that ultimately aims to prevent unnecessary illness and death by reminding people about the need for regular screenings and check-ups, particularly through its partnership with Cancer Council Australia. Find out more www.onmarket.com.au/offers/doctors-com-au-eoi/