A Healthcare Ecosystem at Your FingertipsBy Miriam Bello | Wed, 11/11/2020 - 12:36
Q: How did Doctoralia become the largest healthcare platform in the market?
RM: Doctoralia began as a marketplace that links doctors with patients. Our goal was to help doctors make more efficient use of their time by generating online demand managed through a digital schedule. To date, we have developed other technological solutions for the healthcare chain to build an entire healthcare ecosystem within the same platform. We offer solutions for clinics, hospitals and laboratories. We went from being a link between patient and doctor to now having a full ecosystem of solutions for different providers.
What enabled us to become the largest healthcare platform in the world is our extensive network of doctors in every country where we are present. Doctoralia Mexico has around 180,000 doctors registered on the platform and, at least in Mexico, we arrange more than 1 million medical consultations per month and have around 4-5 million people looking for a doctor per month.
AA: Doctoralia’s goal is to make healthcare more human. In the past, technology was seen as a detachment between doctors and patients. After the pandemic, this scenario changed when people realized that technology could get patients closer to a doctor despite mobility limitations. Doctoralia is the digital platform that has been allowing doctors in Mexico, and around the world, to stay in touch with their patients and to connect with new patients in need of their services.
We save doctors time because they do not have to worry about administrative responsibilities and digital media strategies. We provide that through the platform automatically, so doctors only use their time to provide care to their patients.
Q: How has Doctoralia grown its doctor userbase in Mexico?
AA: Doctoralia took advantage of the fact that people always go to the internet to look up their heath symptoms. We took this and transformed it into a tool that provided answers to healthcare questions from a doctor’s perspective. This created engagement for both patients and doctors. Doctoralia approached doctors individually and the idea was attractive to them because it is an effective way to fill in their schedule gaps and take full advantage of their time. The platform has enabled doctors to build a reputation online and better manage their medical practice. We have since scaled up our services from individual doctors to clinics and hospitals.
Q: How do clinics and hospitals participate in Doctoralia?
RM: This service was developed based on the daily needs of a doctor, depending on whether they were self-employed or worked at a clinic. Whichever the case, we realized that these professionals used very traditional methods of scheduling based on face-to-face interactions or word of mouth recommendations. This is not efficient, so we created a solution for clinics that digitally supports scheduling to make the most of their collaborators’ time and infrastructure.
The approach with hospitals was different because they already invest in technology to improve their performance in all senses. To offer a true value proposition, Doctoralia acquired an Italian company called Tuo-Tempo, which allows us to manage and customize patient files, from the moment the patient arrives in the hospital to the end of their treatment. Moreover, we build white label apps for each hospital so they can complement their digital offering.
Q: How do other healthcare actors interact with Doctoralia?
AA: We created a solution for laboratories that originated from patients’ needs. We realized that people moved from looking for a doctor to looking for complementary health services, so we took advantage of our reputation as a response center to create Labs Doctoralia, where we started to register the available clinical laboratories in certain cities to give patients easy access. Lab Doctoralia offers a quick glance at the services and requirements of each laboratory. To date, we have allied with large and local laboratories.
RM: Our product roadmap for this solution is to create a digital service that allows clinical results to be delivered digitally. These can be easily sent to a doctor, clinic or hospital within the platform.
Q: What impact has telemedicine had on your platform?
RM: Doctoralia was able to launch this solution within a week. COVID-19 accelerated the development of a tool that we had already pictured for the near future. When COVID-19 hit Italy and Spain, we used that experience to create an alternative for doctors to continue their relationship with their patients despite mobility restrictions. Telemedicine cannot be an option for all medical specialties, however. For some, it can only act as the first point of contact but for others it can be a recurrent attention method. Telemedicine is a long-term solution for non-urgent scenarios, for follow-ups, for first-contact consults, doubts or treatments that do not require face-to-face interaction.
Doctoralia has arranged more than 250,000 medical consultations since its launch date in March and through this experience we have seen how this method breaks geographic barriers. It broadens healthcare access. We are complementing our telemedicine offer with a digital prescription service. To date, through Doctoralia, doctors have issued more than 3,200 digital prescriptions.
AA: From our telemedicine consultations we have also observed that just 40 percent of them end up needing a presential consultation. This means that, through Doctoralia, more than 120,000 people were able to receive medical attention or treatment through the platform without leaving their homes. Our telemedicine services are an addition to our subscription offering. We do not charge any additional fee and it has been gratifying to see how we have contributed to providing a safe option for healthcare access.
Doctoralia is the world’s largest healthcare platform. It helps patients find and book doctor’s appointments and it helps doctors manage their time. With more than 55 million unique patients visiting and 3 million appointments per month, Doctoralia is a leader in 10 countries, including Mexico