Cura is a telehealth platform that enables people to get consultations, diagnoses, prescriptions and well-being therapy sessions through instant messaging and video calls on their mobile phone.
The startup was established in 2015 by Wael Kabli and Mohammad Zekrallah, software engineers and lifelong friends who have been working in the field of technology for 10 years at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
With 2,700 doctors in about 200 medical specialties, Cura offers three types of services.
The first is instant consultations, where users who are in need of urgent care receive an immediate response from general physicians and family doctors.
“For example, if someone needs to see a doctor right now, there are doctors available around the clock and they will answer all your health concerns. They are family medicine doctors and the waiting time is usually less than five minutes,” Kabli said.
The second service is specialized consultations for users to see all of Cura’s doctors and featured doctors, user reviews, specialties, wellness programs and more. This service offers a deeper level of consultation with a doctor, specialist or consultant.
“You choose the specialty and the doctor. You can see a full profile of the doctor, their ratings and what people are saying. Also, you can see their credentials and experience. It even shows what languages the doctor speaks and all the feedback,” he said.
“The consultation is a video call with that doctor, with a chat enabled so you can send through your report, pictures or medications —anything you want to present to the doctor.”
The third service is wellness programs, where users can access wellness providers in gynecology, dermatology, psychotherapy, nutrition, dentistry, among others, all with licensed specialists who have experience in telehealth.
This allows people who have well-defined goals to tailor wellness programs such as dealing with anxiety, social phobia, pregnancy follow-ups, diabetic follow-ups or weight loss.
Kabli was inspired to create Cura in 2014.
“I was speaking to my colleague on what could be the next industry to be distributed and is severely underserved by technology,” he said. “The first thing that came to mind was health care; it has lots of restrictions and it is a heavily regulated industry.”
“The whole purpose of this application is to reassure people and make sure they receive the right assistance in time. They don’t need to wait for hours to get a consultation or help from a doctor, and they don’t need to wait for weeks or months to have an appointment with that doctor,” said Kabli.
Zekrallah explained the simplicity of the application: “It allows you to connect with a doctor to ask questions and get a diagnosis and help immediately. There is no need to travel just to ask a doctor a very simple question.”
He said that the startup takes advantage of technology to provide services that make life easier and better for people.