With the Covid-19 health crisis, the Urgence Docteurs app has lightened the load for the SAMU emergency services. More than half the calls today are related to phone consultations.
For Thibault Launay, an Urgence Docteurs investor, the e-health sector is obvious for avoiding the overloading of the hospital emergency services.
Urgence Docteurs: obvious to Thibault Launay during the health crisis
From the beginning of the health crisis, Urgence Docteurs has been in “Covid-19 mode”. Between the fear of contagion, the postponing of non-emergency appointments and the closing of medical practices, Urgence Docteurs has seen a huge growth in home consultations and phone consultations. The Urgence Docteurs app, exceptionally sought after during the period of the health crisis, has also mobilised more doctors to ensure the continuity of unprogrammed health care and to meet the demands of the thousands of patients who do not have referring doctors.
With Urgence Docteurs, users can get a doctor to their home in less than an hour or a phone consultation at any time, no matter where they are. Its advantage? Being able to recommend a doctor according to the patient’s condition. Urgence Docteurs makes an experienced team of medical specialists (cardiologists, neurologists etc.) available to its users.
The rise in phone consultations
The Covid-19 pandemic has also marked a turning point in medical practice. As Thibault Launay, the first investor in the Urgence Docteurs start-up, points out: “Today, half of our appointments are phone consultations and the other half are home visits. Before Covid, we carried out more than 80% home visits. What has happened with the Covid period is that many fewer doctors wanted to go to people’s homes and everyone wanted to do phone consultations. There were also transport problems, with some doctors having to travel by underground etc.”.
For doctors who have continued to see patients at their surgery, receiving patients in complete safety and applying the measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus have been a real headache:
- • disinfecting everything between appointments;
- • organising the diary in such a way as to avoid patients bumping into each other;
- • removing toys and magazines from the waiting room.
Phone consultations have presented themselves as a real opportunity. Indeed, for cases where it was not necessary for patients to attend the surgery, phone consultations have been the solution for maintaining the link between the doctor and his or her patient. So, the Covid-19 pandemic “allowed us to develop the phone consultation aspect, in particular” explains Thibault Launay. The goal for the start-up was “to succeed in having 10 to 15% growth per month and there are obviously seasonal differences. People are in better health during the summer than the winter. Today, we have grown by more than 100% in one year. The goal is to be able to stay the course and grow each year by +50 to +100%, and also to develop in several other countries” the investor confides.
Encounter between Thibault Launay, a business developer, and Urgence Docteurs, an app with strong potential
An associate of Romain Girbal, Thibault Launay looks to support young entrepreneurs. He and his colleague have known the start-up’s founder, Mike Meimoun, since he was 16 years old. It is not this young entrepreneur’s first attempt: age 16, he launched Mixtr, a music app, which he sold just before his 18th birthday.
When Mike Meimoun took the plunge in 2017 with Urgence Docteurs, Thibault Launay and his colleague was the first to invest in the company. He confides: “I launched my first company very young, when I was 21-22 years old. I could see myself in him a little bit. It’s an investment, but at the same time it helps other young entrepreneurs”.
After a painful experience with SOS Médecins, the app’s founder wanted to see the end of long waiting times on the phone and the impossibility of knowing at what time a doctor would arrive. As Thibault Launay says so well: “Mike Meimoun wanted to create an Uber for doctors, so that in several clicks it would be possible to have a doctor in your home”. With Urgence Docteurs “everything is geo-tagged. Users select the doctor closest to their home and know that there’s a fixed tariff. It avoids any nasty surprises.”
Thibault Launay’s day-to-day life as a business developer
With Urgence Docteurs, Thibault Launay is very involved in everything involving fund-raising campaigns, business development and development strategy. He carries out examinations, like a doctor: “Are we going to invest money in the product and therefore recruit developers in order to have an app which works perfectly with new features? Are we going to invest in marketing? If so, what type of marketing? Are we going to appear on the television, radio, Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook? Are we going to recruit salespersons? My role involves all the business development strategy: how to spend money intelligently, how to grow. Are we going to concentrate on Paris or other cities too? Are we going to concentrate on France? Are we going to open up in other countries? etc.” Beyond looking for finance, Thibault Launay also has to know how to spend funds in order to let the start-up’s potential blossom.
Available uniquely in Paris at the beginning, the Urgence Docteurs app now covers 10 of the largest cities in France and has just opened in Switzerland and Belgium. In supporting the app, Thibault Launay is hoping to facilitate access to home health care.
The health care crisis and Covid-19 pandemic have profoundly changed our habits regarding medical care: phone consultations are the solution for responding quickly to patients’ worries. By investing in the Urgence Docteurs app, Thibault Launay is becoming an important player in the e-health sector. A great opportunity for someone who believes that “being an entrepreneur is a bit like being a general practitioner for business”.