The success of Doctolib highlights the failure of the French state in terms of digitalization

The success of Doctolib highlights the failure of the French state in terms of digitalization

French company website and application Doctolip Allow users to make medical appointments through the online portal. Their reputation exploded during the Covit-19 epidemic – allowing many people access to both vaccines and counseling relatively easily – and the company now plans to expand to Italy and the United States. But the emergence of a private company to fill the gap in the public health sector in France underscores the country’s failure to modernize the medical services sector.

The French government’s latest announcements about the Covid-19 program have always been a buzzword on the Doctolib website and processor, filling in all the available time gaps quickly. When it was first announced in July that a health pass was needed to access restaurants and public places, about 1.35 million people rushed to make an appointment to be vaccinated, thus exploding the doctole site.

In the 24 hours following Health Minister Olivier Véran’s announcement that a third vaccine was needed to make the health record valid from January 15, more than 1.2 million people rushed to Doctolib for a reminder meeting.

With an estimated turnover of 60 million users and 150 to 200 million euros by 2020, Doctolib has established itself as a French technology success story.

This French “unicorn” – which refers to a start-up that has surpassed one billion dollars without going public – has tripled its pay since its creation in 2013. With more than 1,700 employees, the company continues to grow. : More than 250 job vacancies are currently posted on his website in France, Germany and Italy. In October, it acquired Dottori.it, an Italian company providing the same service.

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Data stored on Amazon

Le Monde reports that DoctoLip has been instrumental in vaccinating in France since the emergence of Covit-19, providing access to almost 90% of French Covit vaccine centers.

Competitors have emerged – especially Maija, Allodocteur and Vitodoc – but Doctolib’s rapid growth and its continued monopoly position in the field of online medical appointments raises difficult questions.

“Health is an important part of the economy because personal data is recorded; The secure storage of this data is an essential public service, “said Frederick Bizard, an economist who specializes in public health.

In March, doctors ‘and patients’ associations raised some issues related to Doctolib before the State Council, the Supreme Court, under French administrative law. They argued that Doctolib, as an American company, should comply with requests for information from agencies as it stores patient data on Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing arm of the American company Amazon.

When US officials asked Amazon for data on French patients, the court ruled in favor of Doctolib, declaring that “guarantees” were already in place. Doctolip also points to encrypting its data.

But an investigation by France Inter Radio in March revealed that Doctolip’s data was not encrypted when it arrived in the Amazon Web Services cloud. In addition, in June, the German branch of ToctoLeep became embroiled in a controversy over its use of data when the media accused it of sending information about local users to Facebook and an internet marketing company. Information about searches performed by Internet users on the Doctolib site was sold to both companies along with their IP addresses.

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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