The company serves as a platform for doctors to run their practices digitally

Digital healthcare company AmarLab has been bringing emergency medical services straight to patients’ homes in Dhaka and Chittagong for the past two years.

The company serves as a platform for doctors to run their practices digitally. Services on offer through AmarLab include various diagnostic tests as well as online consultations with doctors.

Anyone can avail services through AmarLab by making online bookings or calling from 9am-9 pm. After a booking is made, the company will send certified workers to the patient’s home to collect samples and take them to the patient’s preferred laboratory.

Subsequently, test results are also delivered straight to the patient’s home, all for a service charge of Tk200.

AmarLab has 10 premier partner labs in Dhaka and Chittagong, and many other smaller partners. 

This August, they started providing services in Chittagong on a small scale. The company started with on-demand at-home diagnostics services and has since expanded to several services.

AmarLab provides digital reports by email within 24 hours whenever possible. They also provide diabetes, kidney, and health checkup services, according to  AmarLab officials. 

“We provide dengue and coronavirus tests as well as others. During the pandemic, people did not feel comfortable leaving their homes and going to hospitals for tests. This service ensures they can take tests easily while staying at home,” an AmarLab official said.

The service is particularly beneficial for people with disabilities and the elderly, he added.

They have 9 medical technologists and sample collectors in Dhaka and two in Chittagong. The company serves an average of 40 orders per day in Dhaka, said Mekail Sarwar, marketing manager of  AmarLab. 

In 2007, AmarLab Co-founder and CEO Tazin Shadid’s mother was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. He was working at Microsoft at the time. 

 The experience with his mother’s illness was the first inspiration for him to start working in the healthcare sector. 

In 2007, he founded a clinic to provide free medical services such as consultation and tests. Dr Ishtiaque Zahid, co-founder at AmarLab, was the first doctor in the clinic. Within just 10 years, they had served more than 200,000 patients.

“We have only six doctors for every ten thousand people in the counntry. For every 73,000 people, there is only one medical technologist. The challenge is not only about the socio-economic issues, but also about the lack of experts and access,” Tazin Shadid said. 

“It takes around five and a half hours on average to do a diagnostic test. A patient has to go to the diagnostic center, wait for hours to do the test, and once done, they have to visit the diagnostic center again later to collect the test report. This entire process is not only time-consuming but also stressful for the patients and their relatives. We thought we could do something innovative in this area to solve this problem. Therefore, we started to look for an innovative solution for this problem,” he added.

Their first priority is elderly patients with chronic diseases and pregnant women. About 10% of their users are pregnant women, who need regular diagnostic tests for about a year. 

The company also serves busy professionals and can collect samples straight from the office.

AmarLab is in the process of creating a database with case histories of patients and profiles of doctors.

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