French telehealth provider Doctolib has ranked among the top three most-used video-consultation services in the world since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 100,000 online consultations are taking place per day on the platform, compared to around 1,000 a day before the health crisis. The other two most widely used video-consultation services worldwide are the US firm Teladoc and Chinese platform WeDoctor.
Doctolib has been offering its service free of charge to all French and German physicians in the past few weeks and more than 2.5 million online appointments have been booked on its platform since the COVID-19 crisis began. Around 800,000 patients have adopted online visits through Doctolib during this period.
An internal survey by Doctolib found that 80% of patients and 74% of GPs would like to continue using the online consultation service after the pandemic ends.
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WHY IT MATTERS
During the current health crisis, video-consultation has been adopted in hospitals and health centres to allow remote monitoring of patients and relieve congestion in emergency facilities. Doctolib is now used in 65 hospitals and 167 healthcare facilities.
More than 31,000 physicians now offer online visits on Doctolib and 872,000 patients have used the service via the website or the app at least once in the last five weeks.
While user numbers have accelerated sharply in recent weeks, online medical consultations were already becoming popular with both patients and health professionals. Doctolib’s says its survey confirms the trend and suggests it will lead to lasting changes in behaviour.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
The COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed the uptake of digital health solutions, including remote monitoring and telehealth platforms.
UK-based cloud communications provider X-on is piloting a new remote consultation platform, GP@Home alongside its Video Connect service, which enables GPs to switch from phone to video-consultations.
Meanwhile, in the UAE, six telemedicine solutions have been approved for use by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.
ON THE RECORD
Stanislas Niox-Chateau, co-founder and president of Doctolib, said: “The need for accurate patient orientation and follow-up at home have made online consultations essential during the COVID-19 epidemic. Given the massive adoption of the service by the French, I am convinced that video-consultation will become an important tool for practitioners and their patients in the future.
“Video-consultation has become a simple, reliable and secure solution for accessing healthcare. It has been widely adopted and is becoming essential. It will never replace physical consultation – it will probably represent between 15 and 20% of the activity of user physicians, as it is already the case in Scandinavia and some Asian countries, where the practice is already common.”
Source: Mobihealth News