The executive tells details of the birth of this Seguros Bolívar digital platform, whose purpose is to connect people with doctors and specialists without paying monthly payments.
How did the idea of creating the DoctorAkí platform come about?
In Colombia only three million people have access to private health plans such as prepaid medicine, health policies and complementary care plans. DoctorAkí was born thinking of those people who want to have timely, quality appointments at a price within their budget. The platform is for those people who do not want to waste hours waiting for an operator to schedule their appointment, because they prefer to do it from the comfort of their cell phone or computer and it exists for those who want to request their appointment without procedures, lines, or contracts. Its purpose is to connect people with particular doctors and specialists without paying monthly fees. Our goal is to offer an alternative to have quality medical care.
What has been the most difficult in a country like Colombia where the majority of its population belongs to the subsidized regime?
The most difficult thing for this population segment is the accessibility and opportunity they have to receive their medical services, especially when it comes to specialized appointments. The platform allows access to face-to-face and virtual medical appointments in a timely manner and with affordable prices; We also observe that in such a digital age there are still mainly older adults who are not so familiar with technology.
How does DoctorAkí work?
People only have to enter from their cell phone or computer to the DoctorAkí page, search for the medical specialty they need, select the appointment modality; ‘online’ or in the office, schedule the most convenient date and time and that’s it. You do not need to join any plan, just enter the platform and according to your need, schedule your appointment. Currently, the platform has more than 20 medical specialties, from general medicine, psychology, gynecology and obstetrics, to otorhinolaryngology and urology, among others. In addition, users can also count on other services such as: general practitioner at home, very important in this time of a pandemic where the best thing to do is to stay at home.
What are the main achievements with the launch of the platform?
DoctorAkí has several advantages. It has an intuitive platform, with the possibility of giving a timely, fast access to quality appointments to many people in Colombia, with fair prices (appointments from $ 40,000). Currently there are more than 80 registered professionals, which allows high availability on different days and hours. People do not need to have a prior referral from the general practitioner, but can directly access appointments with specialist doctors. In addition, through teleconsultations, we have managed to reach remote municipalities, where access to an appointment with a specialist doctor is more difficult or delayed.
And what are the challenges?
The main challenge has to do with the fact that there is still a part of the population, especially older adults, who are not familiar with technology and there may be a bit of mistrust in scheduling appointments by this means, as well as having a virtual appointment, instead of in person.
Has the platform met the objectives set in the beginning?
Month by month we strengthen our purpose of bringing timely and quality care at fair prices to all Colombians. During the pandemic, we have managed to consolidate the brand as a solution so that families can continue to care for their health thanks to telemedicine and our more than 80 specialists available. DoctorAkí attended to medical requests from patients from La Guajira to the Amazon and from Chocó to Arauca, both children and older adults. In the last year, for example, more than 20,000 inquiries have been made through the platform, serving more than 14,000 Colombians in 383 municipalities in Colombia.
How is the platform expected to grow? Are you considering incorporating other specialties?
The application grows with the needs of people, the user is the one who tells us where to move. Rather than thinking about incorporating new specialties, we seek to strengthen the current offer, and incorporate complementary services to appointments; for example, diagnostic tests that facilitate both specialists and patients, the treatment of their medical situation.
Has DoctorAkí studied the possibility of expanding to other Latin American countries?
At the moment our focus is Colombia. The challenge is to continue consolidating the operation, continue offering access to quality medical appointments and strengthening our presence in intermediate cities.
From your role as Vice President of Wellness, what other strategies will you be promoting to continue strengthening the health of families?
At Seguros Bolívar we are building different products and services to promote the health and well-being of Colombian families and DoctorAkí is an example of this. Currently, we have a Covid care model for our insured under the health policy and we launched our QR Covid Pass; a technological solution to report virus symptoms in real time. Also, we turn our medical attention to the virtual modality, whenever possible, to protect the health of the patient and the doctor. Additionally, last year, we supported our ARL affiliated companies in the protection of their collaborators with the construction of biosafety protocols.