Doctorlink is the UK’s leading digital triage and video consultation platform, providing 24/7 access to healthcare for over 12.5 million NHS patients across 1,500 GP practices. This year, we also launched our new Urgent Care Triage tool to reduce A&E waiting times, by helping patients to quickly access the correct clinical care for their symptoms. Our NHS arm was already in a period of accelerated user acquisition in 2019 and has seen incredible growth this year.
Between January – September 2020, we reported a 408% increase in registrations compared to the same period in 2019. Aside from our NHS partnerships, we also offer bespoke healthtech solutions to health, life and travel insurers, reinsurance providers and brokers, pharmaceutical companies, international healthcare providers and employers across a range of sectors.
How did you come to take the lead of the company?
After starting my career as a financial journalist, I ventured into start-ups at the turn of the millennium. I spent time in both Munich and New York, working in exciting roles across fintech and regtech. As we approached the start of a new decade, I felt health tech was an important next step – the significance of health gets clearer the older you get!
I returned to the UK to take the helm of Doctorlink in January 2020. It was a new space to get accustomed to, but I felt an immediate connection to the sector – it gives you a greater feeling of doing good than I’ve ever felt before. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that 2020 would be the most challenging year yet for the healthtech sector! It’s been a great time to be able to hold the reigns and drive a fantastic business through its biggest growth phase yet.
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How has the need for Doctorlink evolved during the pandemic?
Covid-19 has put an extraordinary demand on our health systems and required patients and clinicians alike to adapt in a very short space of time. With the unique challenges the virus presents, it was immediately obvious that digital triage had a significant role to ensure patient access to healthcare services and free up capacity within the healthcare system. This year we’ve seen triple digit user growth across all of our key services, including a greater than 250% increase in our active user base, whilst the number of GP clinics using our platform has tripled.
Compared to the same period of 2019, the number of completed unique online symptom assessments – known as ‘traversals’ – has increased by over 200% and we have also seen an unprecedented rise in online repeat prescription requests and video consultations this year, with increases of 1470% and 905% respectively. These figures show large numbers of patients are now adopting and benefitting from these tools in the UK.
Our growth this year was further boosted by an NHS decision in March to select the platform to provide both online triage and video consultations to GP services, in an accelerated bid open to all existing NHS suppliers.
It wasn’t only public health systems that had a sudden need for digital tools like Doctorlink, private companies experienced a similar shift change too. As the pandemic unfolded, insurers across both health and travel had an increasing need to provide users with immediate access to symptom assessment in a way which was tailored to their business models. Our online triage, health risk assessment and video consultation solutions for private companies have therefore also experienced a similar surge in interest.
What can we hope to see from Doctorlink in the future?
The capacity for algorithms and AI technology to remove frictions and create efficiencies within the current system are substantial – from diagnosing acute conditions and triaging patients, to providing in-depth population health analysis and video consultations.
We already provide our technology to both the NHS and private healthcare practices, including AXA, BUPA, Kaiser Permanente and Web MD and are now working with Microsoft Azure as part of their Co Sell Program to support public and private healthcare providers. We have also started working with the insurance industry, which is now showing an increasing interest in providing better and more user-friendly tools for their patients.