Digital healthtech Doctolib, which offers online booking for medical appointments, has partnered with the French government for the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
Doctolib, which is the second biggest healthtech in Europe based on the amount of funding raised, will manage the online booking of vaccine appointments, along with two other French healthtech companies, Maiia and Keldoc.
The contract is another win for Doctolib, which has been doing well during the pandemic amid a wider boom in telemedicine.
From Thursday onwards, anyone over 75 will be able to book an appointment to receive the vaccine at one of 700 dedicated centres across the country.
However, Doctolib only lists partner medical centres who have paid a fee to sign up to the site, not all of them.
“The Doctolib team is ready to deliver a digital service adapted to the needs of health professionals who practice vaccination against Covid-19,” said Stanislas Niox-Chateau, the company’s founder.
The partnership comes after France reported significantly lower numbers of people having received the vaccine compared to neighbouring countries.
As of last weekend, the country had administered 93,000 doses, compared to 2.3m in the UK, and a poll at the end of last year suggested 45% of French adults would decline a vaccine if offered one.
The government’s choice of a digital booking service has been criticised by some who’ve pointed out that, according to INSEE, half of over 75s — the target group for the first vaccine rollout — have no internet access in their homes.
For Doctolib, the deal with the French state comes after it won a contract in Germany to run vaccine appointments in Berlin and its surrounding region.
The company, along with other digital doctor services, saw a huge surge in interest for its video consultation service as the coronavirus pandemic meant more and more medical appointments moved online.
In May last year, Doctolib saw video consultations jump from 1,000 a day to 100,000 a day across the course of the month. The company announced it plans to hire 3,000 more people in the next four years, adding to its current payroll of 1,400 employees.