Doctolib: all about the French e-health giant

Doctolib is a Franco-German company, which is developing an e-health platform. This solution allows patients to make appointments online with general practitioners or specialists, or to take advantage of video teleconsultations. Find out everything you need to know about the French Unicorn of Health 2.0…

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Launched in 2013, Doctolib is a platform for book and manage medical consultations with general practitioners or specialists. It is available as a mobile application, or directly on a web browser.

Users can choose to physical consultations, or video teleconsultations. The goal of this tool is to improve the efficiency of medical organizations and enhance the patient experience.

For doctors, professionals and health institutions, it is a software to manage patients and consultations. The objective is to optimize the organization, and to Catching up with an undeniable technological backlog in the medical sector. It is also a question of putting an end to the isolation of certain institutions and practitioners.

For patients, Doctolib is un centralized health management service. It makes it possible to remedy the problem of the increasing difficulty of access to care and the opacity of the care pathway. The platform also offers everyone the opportunity to access their health data.

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How does Doctolib work?

The Doctolib platform is based on proprietary technology. This Cloud-based technology is developed by co-founders Jessy Bernal and Ivan Schneider, and by the CTO of the company Philippe Vimard. According to the product manager, Julien Méraud, it is ” the most advanced reservation management software in Europe “.

Although this is a proprietary technology, developed in-house, it is open and can be easily connected other medical software such as hospital information systems or practice management solutions. The infrastructure is based on the most efficient health data hosting services on the market.

In addition to this management software, Doctolib offers physicians a Business Intelligence tool, tailor-made consultations, and tools for fight against missed appointments through SMS, email, memos, online cancellation features or a blacklist system.

From new functionalities are developed over time, in partnership with the company’s clients, in the firm’s two R&D centres located in Paris and Berlin. To adapt to demand, Doctolib uses the Agile model with, in particular, development accelerations and a rapid deployment system.

In order to improve the patient experience, the platform proposes to a system that allows you to book at any time, any dayand cancel an appointment very easily. Users can also manage their accounts, and receive notifications from doctors in case of cancellations, delays, changes or waiting lists.

Doctolib and teleconsultation

Since 2019, Doctolib also offers a teleconsulting service thanks to videoconferencing technology. Patients can take advantage of remote auscultation, where possible, to avoid having to travel and save time.

It is also possible to pay online and receive a transferable order to pharmacies directly. In the context of the VIDOC-19 pandemic, this system proved to be particularly relevant and experienced a significant increase in popularity.

Doctolib for physicians

To use Doctolib, physicians must pay a monthly subscription. It is the company’s sole source of income. This subscription is without obligation and can be cancelled at any time.

They can then access the software, quick and easy to installaccessible from anywhere. Implementation is free of charge, and users also receive training and guidance for their organizations.

The Doctolib teams, present in France and Germany, collaborate with doctors to better understand their needs. They are thus developing new functionalities to meet these needs.

Doctolib for patients

With Doctolib, patients can use an extensive directory to find the practitioner or the health facility they need. This directory contains not only contact information for professionals, but also information about them.

It is possible to make an appointment any day, at any time. The appointments can be managed easily from the platform. It is also possible to choose teleconsultation, on computer or telephone.

What are the advantages of Doctolib?

According to Doctolib, its platform offers many advantages for the healthcare sector. First of all, it reduces the number of calls a hospital or practitioner receives by up to a third. It also makes it possible to Reduce the number of missed appointments by 75%..

In addition, this solution allows physicians toe make ourselves known more easily and accelerate the development of their patient communities. It is therefore a real asset for healthcare professionals.

The platform also allows practitioners to increase their revenuess, reduce their secretarial time, enjoy increased comfort and provide their patients with a modernized experience.

For their part, patients also enjoy many benefits. They can access different healthcare professionals more quickly, better understand the care pathway, manage their health on the web, and thus better care to stay healthy.

Doctolib and data protection

As with all online platforms, the issue of confidentiality and data security issues arise for Doctolib. This is all the more the case following the launch of the teleconsultation service.

To this end, the platform implements several strict data protection measures. Users’ personal data is not held by the company. They are stored on the servers of hosting companies AZ Network and Coreye, with the agreement of the French government and the CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés).

Doctolib hit by data theft

Thanks to Doctolib, scheduling medical appointments has never been easier. Many people are using this platform, and this is what has enabled the Franco-German company to reach a valuation of more than one billion euros 150 million in 2019.

Unfortunately, ease does not always guarantee security… and often quite the opposite. Thursday, July 23, 2020, Doctolib announces that it has been hit by a data theft. In total, these are information related to 6128 appointments that were taken.

If the number of users impacted remains moderate, the data accessed by hackers are particularly sensitive. The criminals were able to get hold of the victims’ phone numbers and email addresses, or the names and specialties of their doctors.

Fortunately, the firm says that the passwords to the Doctolib accounts have not been stolen. Furthermore, the reasons for the appointment were not disclosed…. The users concerned will now be contacted directly.

The cybercriminals behind this robbery, committed on 21 July, exploited a security breach. However, this loophole has since been closed.

The company specifies that the security flaw does not concern the doctolib.fr site or the eponymous practice management software. They are third party software connected to Doctolib that allowed the hackers to access the appointment data.

So it wasn’t the department itself that was vulnerable, but the API allowing third party software to connect to it. This API was notably used by third party appointment scheduling and calendar management software.

Health data are considered to be the most confidential, and it is unfortunate that even a platform like Doctolib is not immune to data leakage. In accordance with the RGPD, Doctolib filed a complaint and notified the CNIL.

However, it is the responsibility of the latter to investigate and identify possible breaches of cybersecurity. If this is the case, Doctolib could face a hefty fine…

The success of Doctolib

In 2020, Doctolib is the European leader in e-health with 60 million patient visits per month and 135,000 users among practitioners. The platform is a huge success.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and containment, Doctolib has risen to be among the three most widely used teleconsulting services in the world with Teladoc in the United States and WeDoctor in China.

Instead of 1,000 online consultations per day before the crisis, the platform has grown to more than 100,000 per day. This explosion in popularity is linked to the fact that Doctolib has offered its service free of charge to physicians French and German to deal with the coronavirus, to relieve the emergency services.

However, in conducting a survey, Doctolib found that 80% of patients and 74% of general practitioners would like to continue using the service even after the pandemic. As is already the case in Scandinavia and in some Asian countries, the company expects teleconsultation to become commonplace and to represent between 15 and 20% of doctors’ activity…

In 2019, the Franco-German company raised 150 million euros with General Atlantic, Accel, Eurazeo, Kernel, Bpifrance and other anonymous investors. With a market capitalization of over $1 billion, it is now one of the French unicorns alongside Blablacar, Critero and Vente-Privée.

In one year, Doctolib has doubled its workforce to from 750 to 1500 employees. It is investing heavily in its two centres in Paris and Berlin, recruiting numerous developers and engineers.

In addition, many consultants are deployed in the field to introduce the software to doctors and hospitals and help them implement it in their facilities. The Health 2.0 giant is therefore expected to continue to grow in the coming years, and continue its international expansion

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