Proximus launches eHealth service

Proximus has launched an eHealth solution called Doktr, based on technology supplied by Swedish eHealth provider, Doktor.se. The new app is available to everyone registered with a Belgian health insurance fund, and while it initially focuses on primary care, Proximus intends to expand the range of services offered to cover specialists and paramedics. For patients, the app provides a convenient, safe and secure method of accessing healthcare.

Guillaume Boutin, CEO Proximus

Guillaume Boutin, CEO of the Proximus Group, noted that he believes Proximus is ideally placed to help digitalise healthcare in Belgium.

“With Doktr we aim to leverage smart digital tools to help alleviate the pressure on healthcare in Belgium,” he said.

“It’s my firm belief that Proximus, as a trusted locally-anchored operator, has all the necessary assets to play a key role in tackling this challenge and contribute to building a future-proof healthcare model for Belgium.”

Doktr is easy for patients to use. They identify themselves via a mobile app (iOS and Android) using a secure process and then summarise their healthcare problem. The problem is triaged, before a video consultation with a doctor. The doctor can see the patient’s information, as well as a summary of why they’re calling. With the patient’s permission, the doctor can access medical files and communicate with GPs if required. They are able to prescribe certain medicines and refer patients who require intervention or follow-up for further consultation with a GP or to a hospital.

Petra De Sutter, Federal Minister for Telecommunications in Belgium, said: “I’m pleased that Proximus as a public company is fully committed to innovation, in domains such as smart housing, smart cities and now also e-health. During and after a health crisis like the one we’re facing today, Proximus demonstrates the added value it creates for society as a public telecom company.”

Doktr is a Swedish eHealth start-up that received EUR45 million in Series C in May 2020, following EUR10 million the previous year. Sweden is one of the most advanced European markets in terms of eHealth. In 2019 it was already utilising a million digital appointments for health assessments, advice and face-to-face consultations and 99% of prescriptions were electronic. The country’s eHealth initiatives are driven by a dedicated eHealth department – eHälsomyndigheten.

Omnisperience’s View

The new service’s launch may have been pre-empted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Doktr provides choice and convenience for patients as well as efficiency for doctors that has long-term applicability. The solution is an example of Proximus’s ambition to move beyond basic connectivity to provide vertical solutions in education, financial services, advertising and health using a partnership approach. It is a refreshing change to see a service provider working in collaboration with a third party specialist vendor to create a digital solution, in an industry that has previously doggedly pursued ownership and self-development over collaboration.

Omnisperience believes there is a win-win-win to be gained here for customers, service providers and ISVs, which will help service providers quickly move beyond commoditisation of basic network connectivity to a much more strategic position in the value chain. It is notable that security plays such an important role in this application and we see an opportunity for Proximus to secure the household connection and device – as well as the application, videocall and data – to deliver total security and privacy for patients. This makes a complementary CCAPS service both relevant and revenue-generating.

Teresa Cottam
Teresa Cottam

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