Today, every private service, from taxis to hotels is likely to be rated and there are those who know how to take advantage of this, with a recipe to which they add artificial intelligence. The Catalan company Top Doctors born in 2013 is one of these examples.
It is a directory that allows to know the best doctors of each specialty, scored by their peers. In addition to being able to make an appointment, many have the option of teleconsultation by email or videoconference and work in a symptom detector. They close 2017 with 7.5 million euros of turnover, more than 6,000 attached doctors and four million users in Spain alone. And about 10% of benefits.
“I am the daughter of a doctor, I know how the sector has aged and how far away they are from technologies and I also know how difficult it is for the patient to locate a good private doctor who knows about your specific problem,” says Lorena Bassas, co-founder of the Company and marketing expert. He had met his partner, Alberto E. Porciani, during his time at Johnson & Johnson; he acts as general manager, she stays in the shade.
Bassas ran a communication agency for the health sector and there he realized the niche market that they now cover with Top Doctors. “With a simple series of slides and thanks to family contacts, Lorena was knocking on the door and getting the support of 40 doctors who invested a thousand euros; and so we started, with a first-round of 40,000 euros,” explains Porciani. They have reached 4.5 million investment after the injection of an American partner.
The company claims to have invested more than five million euros only in developments that handle encrypted information and subject to privacy controls. “Without a system that acts as an intermediary, both emails and messaging are filled with information that people share without shame but can be used by anonymous sources for different purposes,” says the director, who points out one of the risks here of the explosive growth of electronic health.
For them, its platform serves to “empower the patient; that he has all the necessary information to be able to choose the doctor who best knows his symptoms and comes into connection with him safely,” Porciani explains. “We are living the digital revolution of medicine, patient 4.
They are not the only ones who have this model in the world of electronic health. Doctoralia, the first directory of doctors, differs in the part of the teleconsultation. And there are video consultation projects such as Vida from the Swedish KRY that has landed in Spain, but only has some medical specialties. One of his obsessions is to become a “standard.”
“It is absurd for a doctor to have 400 applications, when precisely what he wants is to make life easier and they are not friends of technology,” Porciani explains. That is why his intention is that his technological platform serve as a standard for other developments.
For that, far from closing the door to companies in the sector, they establish alliances with them. As for example with the Spanish Mediktor, who has developed an artificial intelligence that they define as a symptom assessor. “They have 95% success and have tested their technology at the BCN Clinic and Carlos III Hospital.
They ensure that doctors want to be on the platform “for prestige and because those who are not associated with an insurer, receive a high volume of requests through Top Doctors” but “no one” can pay to be on the list; neither insurance or pharmaceutical.
Your payment model, in addition to the big data volumes of confidential information that allow you to trace patterns of symptoms and diseases involves charging a fee to doctors who want to hire the services of the platform, such as the consultation or the appointment request.
To capture them they have a commercial team of eight people. They intend to take 10% of specialists in Spain, because, according to their calculations, “only one in ten passes the rigorous controls to enter the directory.”
There are almost 17 variables that include years of experience, international training, if you are head of service of a public hospital, they are also valued by colleagues in your specialty. Contrary to what it may seem, the best doctors are not always concentrated in the big capitals. “There are varied ages and also specialties of all kinds among the best doctors in Spain, because we have a very high level private medicine.”
They have 10 million users worldwide 5% have closed appointments through Top Doctors. The company was born with an international vocation, so they have grown in Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom and Latin America through opening new markets or alliances. In Barcelona alone they have almost 100 workers in Spain.
They have 60 in Latin America, where they operate in the markets of Colombia, Mexico and Chile. They are also in Italy. The idea that beats behind its international expansion, which has given them 60% of the turnover, is to get patients to “find the best specialist wherever they are, a well-understood health tourism,” explains the director.
In these countries the platform does not always work the same, it adapts to the needs of the country. ” Telemedicine is not as developed here than in the United Kingdom or the United States, where it is included in medical insurance.
We work in phases and we are testing, we are building as we move forward. ”And for example, in Latin America, they collaborate with an NGO on the ground so that the best retired doctors can help sick people without resources.