Practo is stepping up healthcare services through multilingual SMSes

Practo is on a mission to make healthcare simpler for millions of Indians, by reducing the number of steps it takes for patients and doctors to connect. Practo has made appointment scheduling, invoicing for sessions, and even finding doctors much easier for millions of Indians.

Practo’s Communication Gap

Practo sends communications via SMS to patients informing them of their appointment details. These details include information like addresses, doctor names, and dates.

A large number of Practo users are more comfortable in Indian languages than English. Practo wanted to make sure that these patients weren’t missing out on any important information because of the language barrier.

Patients unfamiliar with English had issues with understanding communication SMSes, often missing out on appointment details as a result. This created a gap, breaking an otherwise smooth patient-doctor communication experience.

Practo sought to fix this gap by making these details available in the patient’s prefered language.

Practo’s Localization Requirement

Practo’s requirement was specifically for their SMS communications, and not for the app. SMS communications needed to be available in the user’s choice of Indian language, so as to bridge the communication gap.

Using The LaaS Suite

To solve their requirement, we used two tools from our LaaS Suite – the localization API, and the transliteration API.

SMS templates were created, with placeholder blanks left out for appointment details. The content of the SMS template, consisting of static strings and common to all communication SMSes, was translated into all the 11 languages Practo uses – Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Assamese, Punjabi, Gujarati.

Dynamic strings, in this case appointment details, were transliterated into the target language’s script, and then plugged into the blank spaces in the SMS template.

What you have at the end is an SMS that has been completely localized.

How A Localized SMS Is Sent

When a patient registers with a clinic via Practo, they are asked for their language preference.

If a patient requests an appointment, the request is sent to the clinic. The clinic then schedules an appointment. PractoRay processes the appointment information and prepares to send it to the patient.

In case the SMS request involves localization, PractoRay sends the appointment details to Reverie’s LaaS server.

Reverie localizes the appointment details in 11 languages and sends it back to Practo. These details are added to pre localized SMS templates with Practo’s servers, and sent to the user. An SMS in the language of their choice, containing their appointment details, lands in their inbox.

The Result for Practo

40% of Practo’s patient communication SMSes are now sent in 11 Indian languages, nationwide. The users base’s preference for Indian languages shows a significant demand for receiving communications in an Indian language.

By localizing SMS communications, Practo now ensures that gaps in communicating appointment details to patients have been bridged, making scheduling and going for appointments smoother for patients.