French startup Doctolib is sharing some metrics on its video consultation feature. While the startup first started as a way to help doctors manage appointments and let them accept online appointments, the company has been taking advantage of its huge community of health professionals to add video consultations on top of that.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, users have booked 2.5 million online appointments in France and Germany. More than 31,000 physicians offer video consultations and 872,000 patients have used the service at least once over the past five weeks.
Usually, Doctolib charges practitioners a monthly fee to access the service and use it to replace their calendar. Practitioners can choose to pay an additional €79 per month ($90) on top of their standard Doctolib plan to start accepting remote appointments.
During the epidemic, the startup has chosen to waive video consultation subscription fees. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also a great way to convince more practitioners to start accepting remote appointments.
The result is explosive growth. Doctolib jumped from 1,000 to 100,000 video consultations per day in just a month. The good news is that it isn’t just for young people — 28% of users who book an online appointment are 55 years old and beyond.
Those appointments comply with France’s national healthcare system. Patients get reimbursed just like a normal appointment. But there are some legal restrictions. Usually, you can’t book a remote appointment and get reimbursed if the doctor doesn’t know you already.
But that restriction has been lifted during the lockdown. Let’s see if the momentum will hold when the national healthcare system puts back some limits on video consultations.