Digital Health Must Be as Trusted as Traditional Health ProvisionBy Miriam Bello | Thu, 11/05/2020 - 14:39
Q: What added value does 1DOC3 bring to Mexican patients and doctors?
A: We arrived in the country through Startup Mexico in 2016 with the clear purpose of exploiting the organic audience we received from Mexico. Before arriving here, we had tens of thousands of Mexicans visiting 1DOC3 with the hope of finding medical guidance to support their decision-making. From the information we have gathered from their search on the webpage, we have been able to create insights, analytics and overall relevant data for the sector.
1DOC3’s business model has evolved since we first arrived here. The platform went from being a B2C free healthcare forum to a paid interaction with medical professionals with a teleconsulting option within the platform. We are focusing on teleconsultations and medical orientation. We realized that people are willing to pay for medical consultations with a trusted care provider through an application in their phones.
To date, we work alongside pharmaceutical companies to generate insights for their market research based on the information we gather. In the case of Mexico, we work closely with insurance companies like MAPFRE. Its telemedicine service is provided by 1DOC3 through a white label service. In other countries, such as Colombia, we work alongside the government. In Mexico, our approach is to work with multinational institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank, which supports us with the financing of some telemedicine projects that are executed by 1DOC3 alongside different health ministries.
As we evolved, we developed another product for corporate clients. This is a multisectoral solution that provides a telemedicine option for employees, while still offering first-level care even through the current COVID-19 limitations keeping many employees at home. This option allows up to five members of the employee’s family to receive medical consultations.
Q: How has COVID-19 impacted 1DOC3?
A: COVID-19 impacted all actors in the healthcare chain. From patients to care providers, the digital transformation accelerated on all fronts. Companies also became more open toward alternative solutions like telemedicine. 1DOC3 offered clients the chance to see how their employees were doing despite working from home, even in different states. Mental health is another subject that has received a great deal of attention. 1DOC3 already offered consultations for stress or anxiety. However, the increase in these services has been exponential.
COVID-19 introduced a culture revolution, more than a technological one. That has made this change more effective because it would have taken more time, otherwise. Our culture had to change radically and now people have greater access to the world from their phones or computers.
Q: What challenges has 1DOC3 faced in Mexico to grow its presence?
A: 1DOC3 offers basic primary attention so most of our doctors are general practitioners. They are open and used to technology, very flexible and have successfully adapted to the digital offering. The challenge is that we have many doctors wanting to participate. However, it would not be efficient to have a surplus.
On the other hand, there are still many doctors resisting these types of consultations. This digital/cultural transformation is already a reality, however. Many patients have already solved their health issues through telemedicine. The goal is for this new model of healthcare to be fully adopted and seen not as digital health or telehealth but as just a health provision.
Q: How has 1DOC3 used the information gathered in Mexico to generate a positive impact?
A: In 2018, we supported IMCO with its yearly diabetes report on understanding how patients behaved and how this compared to other countries with less diabetes incidence. We found that Mexican patients learn about the disease only after presenting symptoms, leading to severe healthcare complications.
Q: How does 1DOC3 protect itself from cybersecurity threats?
A: 1DOC3 has high cybersecurity standards and we use the HIPAA quality model to protect our data. This helps us guarantee that user data is safe and protected. This is an obligation for any telemedicine provider. However, the norms in Latin America are not there yet, which is why we are following other models used in different countries.
Q: What are the near-term plans for 1DOC3?
A: We want to strengthen our market position in Mexico as this is still a very attractive market for us. Mexico’s population is among the leading out-of-pocket spenders in healthcare, which means our services can be adapted easily.
We want to continue investing in our data. Thanks to our tools, we are able to visualize what is affecting the population. We can also know what medicines they take and other information that enable us to build AI that better understands symptoms to then offer improved care.
1DOC3 is a virtual medical guidance platform that provides quality health information to millions of people every month. The platform supports a team of verified doctors to advise users on medical matters.