Q&A: App connects patients with the right doctors
Doctena was created by the son of a doctor who grew up scheduling appointments and has now put his experience to use to connect health-care providers with patients
What does your app do exactly?
Doctena is a central platform that connects patients with health-care professionals on one side and doctors with patients on the other side. It’s very simple: In three clicks, patients can start their health-care journey. You can install it on a phone, but it’s also something you can connect to through your computer, tablet or any other digital device.
What inspired you to create it?
Two things. I grew up in a family of doctors, so I’ve got 20 years’ experience in appointment management. When I was 10 years old, I’d pick up the phone and write down the appointments in a book, the old-fashioned way. But later I lived in the US and saw how appointment management could be digitised, and that something like this could be a really great way to make life easier for both doctors and patients.
How long did it take to create it?
In 2010, I said it would be a great idea, but I was working on other things at the time, and I didn’t have the technological knowhow to create what I had in mind. So when I came back to Belgium, I spoke with friends who were more digitally skilled than I was, and in 2013 I met the person who would become my partner in the initiative. After that, it was just a few months until we had our first patients and were in business.
How do people find out about you?
It’s a two-sided market place, a bit like Airbnb, where you have tenants and people looking for a place to stay. On one side, we have doctors, and on the other side we have patients. When we sign up a new doctor, we give them a communication package, which contains personalised posters, flyers and business cards to help them find new patients. When someone calls looking for an appointment, we have them refer to our app.