The medical booking startup launches its online consultation service a few weeks ahead of time, due to the current health crisis and our growing need for solidarity. The timing is “unfortunately” right and it is through an internal hackathon that the startup has launched this service today. Patrick Kersten, the founder of Doctena, speaks to us and gives us the latest on this launch.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
photo: National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
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The situation suddenly started to deteriorate early last week and doctors began to warn one another they were closing their practices because they were unable to receive patients in good sanitary conditions.
The same day the Doctena team managed to launch the Beta version of its video-consultation module. “We had a full hackathon with the whole team. They were ten or so taking turns before they had something. We managed to deploy our Beta version at the beginning of this week,” says Patrick, whose voice gives me an idea of the intensity of the development work that has been carried out over the last few days.
“It’s a feature we plan to keep for the long haul. Last but not least, this type of consultation is reimbursed by the National Health Fund.”
“We are starting with the 700 practitioners in Luxembourg. We informed them on Wednesday night and already around 30 practices, i.e. close to 100 doctors are interested in offering video-consultation services as of today, Friday. This will create enormous capacity for additional consultations,” he adds.
In view of the progress curves of those infected, it felt urgent to act. Requests for doctor’s appointments have exploded even though the Doctena team has yet to provide initial figures. Its focus over the last few days has been on the launch of this module.
“It’s not only the IT team that was involved. Our customer support, marketing, product and sales teams have been keenly involved in communicating how the product works and ensuring doctors are informed. We are also making explanatory videos that explain how the module works for doctors and patients”, clarifies Patrick.
Anyone can potentially be a user of this service. Doctena’s objective with this launch is to provide flawless user experience.
“The usage is very simple for both the patient and the physician. When booking an appointment, the patient can specifically choose a video consultation instead of a classical visit. The confirmation email of the appointment does hold a special link. A simple click at the agreed date and time will give access to a safe and secure video channel, a virtual consultation room only accessible at that agreed moment by both the patient and the physician”, explains Doctena’s founder.
“We manage the calendars of the doctors and any booking will appear in their calendar.”
With the doctors, the team has also to ensure they are well equipped. And, when it comes to ensuring connectivity, our key launch partners is Post Luxembourg. The Post Luxembourg’s support team has been briefed to provide bandwidth as quickly as possible, either remotely or on the spot.
Launching in other countries will certainly be an added boost for the startup. If there are 50 practitioners on launch day in Luxembourg, it translates to several hundred in Belgium. The launch is planned for the next few days, but until then “we must be ready in terms of process”, the founder assures us.
CHL – Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg –announced the launch of a teleconsultation module yesterday, but Doctena is the only entity that can offer it in the schedule and process of the medical practice. “We manage the calendars of the doctors and any booking will appear in their calendar. After the crisis, they will still be able to use this service. It’s a feature we plan to keep for the long haul. Last but not least, this type of consultation is reimbursed by the National Health Fund”, concludes Patrick Kersten.
Watch the demo video