As the son of a doctor, Patrick Van de Mosselaer of Antwerp has had a lifetime’s practice organising appointments. After seeing an opportunity to simplify scheduling for both doctors and patients, he and his business partner developed Doctena, an app that streamlines the appointment management process.
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.