Doctolib lands in Italy to invest 250 million euros, build a new Tech Center in Milan and hire 500 people. Founded in France in 2013 by CEO Stanislas Niox-Chateau, the tech company promises to revolutionize Italian healthcare, as it has already done in France and Germany. And to encourage the development of services in the Italian context, Doctolib acquired the company Dottori.it, present in Italy since 2013.
Here are the numbers: 60 million patients in the two countries where it is already present with a network of 300,000 professionals; 2 thousand employees; 70 million appointments managed for anti-Covid vaccinations. We offer doctors a platform, in the form of a monthly subscription, to manage their work more efficiently and more effectively and at the same time simplify the lives of patients, explains Nicola Brandolese, 50, the CEO who leads the group in Italy, bringing 25 years of experience in digital, he was in the founding team of Sky Italia and led Luxottica’s online growth, before joining Net-a-porter (Richemont group).
The goal: 60 million patients
Doctolib did a research on all European countries. We have been studying Italy for a few years and in the last year 150 doctors have started testing our service. We started with family doctors, but our offer is aimed at all specialists, both private and in the national health system, as well as the paramedical sector, says Brandolese. The ambition? Reaching 60 million patients like in France, admits the manager, reiterating that Doctolib is a tech company at the service of health. Our dual mission: on the one hand to improve citizens’ access and care, and on the other to facilitate the doctor’s work.
The study on Italian doctors
The results of the study on Italian health carried out in 2020? Only one in three doctors has a full-time secretary (45% have no secretary and 23% have a part-time secretary). 27% of general practitioners work without an appointment (up to 50% in the South), an even more common practice among older doctors. 52% still use pen and paper to organize the study. We have estimated that family doctors dedicate about 3-4 hours a day to carrying out administrative procedures outside the surgery hours, Brandolese points out. A maximalist doctor, who has already reached the maximum number of patients allowed, receives today between 25 and 30 calls a day and at least 50 patient requests through other channels.
Even among dentists the level of digitization is still low, About 50% still use pen and paper. The other 50% use dedicated management software. On average, 70% of dentists offer the first free visit as an incentive to visit new patients. Only one in two Italians goes to the dentist at least once a year, 17% less than the French and 44% less than the Germans.
As for specialists, the study shows that 66% of visits take place in hospital, of which only 1% is booked online. On average, a specialist offers his services in more than two different places to compensate for the imbalance between supply and demand. Again: a specialist visit costs an average of 125 euros, but for the same specialty, the same visit to Milan costs on average 20% more than Rome and 30% more than Naples.
What Doctolib promises
The bet? To guarantee all Italians quick and easy access to healthcare, with an online service that allows each patient to instantly book an appointment and have all the necessary information before and after the visit. It will be possible to request a prescription online from your family doctor and share the reports in total safety, in a simple way 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, promises Brandolese.
According to the manager, the doctors who work with Doctolib save more than an hour of time a day, to guarantee each individual patient more attention and greater listening, while specialists will have more opportunities to respond to the growing demand for care from citizens. In exchange, the doctor pays a monthly subscription, which he can cancel when he wants, of 100-120 euros per month, less if a family doctor.
The goal in one year? We have great ambitions: we aim for many doctors and many patients. We want to reach everyone. also thanks to the broad shoulders of the investors who support the company. They are long-term investors, which include in addition to the French founding partners and the management team, which still have the majority, some funds including Axcell, Bpi France, Eurazeo, General Atlantic and Kernell, as well as some German entrepreneurs. There are no Italians for now, but the group declares itself open when fresh resources are needed to grow faster.
The platform is only the first part of the route. We also aim to bring telemedicine and doctor’s office management services, Brandolese anticipates. Without forgetting the hospitals, as happened in France, where Doctolib already collaborates with hundreds of entities.
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