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Alberto E. Porciani: Helping Patients to Make an Informed Choice

Alberto E. Porciani | Top doctors
Alberto Porciani | Top Doctors

Choice – is the most valued possession any human being has. It empowers and helps them decide the best for them.

But what drives a choice?

Many would opine that it is by the information one receives, which in contemporary times is facilitated by technologically enabled platforms. The services provided by such a platform act as a candle in the darkness, helping the consumer choose the most suitable product for them.

The sector where consumers have a myriad of options and frequently find it difficult to decide is –the Healthcare sector. The industry is currently worth USD 178 billion and continues to expand; it is attracting a wide number of doctors and physicians, and in this vast pool of human resources, one finds it difficult to find the right doctor for oneself.

To put the pieces of the puzzle correctly, global leaders are offering innovative platforms, and one such leader who is in the spotlight is Alberto E. Porciani, who, with his 15 years of experience in the health sector; realized that the trend of digitized services is becoming a path guider to patients by filling the lacunae in making an informed choice.

Putting his experience and expertise to people’s advantage and carefully analyzing and understanding patients’ needs by providing the right medical practitioner, the CEO and Founder established his company –Top doctors.

The organization where over 90,000 clinical specialists are referenced as the best doctors in their field and are selected by following a thorough screening process including peer-to-peer recommendations and patient ratings to receive the best treatment.

Let us read more about the leader and his endeavors!

The Leader’s Musings

Alberto embarked on his journey into the medical field 15 years ago and continues to serve. This experience has made him understand the wide intricacies of the healthcare sector, which differs for every region. He says, “My career in companies such as Allergan and Johnson & Johnson in different countries has allowed me to detect the needs of doctors and patients in the digital world, and the need for digitalization of the sector in many different countries.”

This experience has given him the opportunity to understand the insights that are the basis of the Top Doctors Company. He comprehended that, on the one hand, the patient’s difficulty in finding the right doctor and, on the other hand, the need for doctors and clinics to be able to respond to the digital patient and how they can optimize consultations and clinics to be the competitive post-COVID world.

“In health”, he says, “Quality is always very important, from the point of view of treatment and medical specialists, but also in terms of costs. The concept of identifying the top is the basis of our business.”

Ideating this into reality and reminiscing about the inception of Top Doctors, he recalls, “Like all good businesses, I was lucky to have support and collaboration, coming from Castle and Connolly of America’s Top Doctors, who trusted in the business model outside of the US, and we have been able to create a business model with social impact and very high acceptance and loyalty of doctors, that has taken us to where we are now: one of the most important players in the medical sector.”

The Basis of Success

The growth of the company is outlined by the values it stands by for customer delivery. At Top Doctors, the leader believes in the importance of this and has outlined three core values of the Company to provide top-notch services.

These core values are:

  • Ensuring the right doctor is placed with the right patient each time, using our excellent triage system that matches symptoms with pathology, and finding the best expert specialist in that condition on our platform.
  • Giving patients quick and easy online access to the specialist they need via our e-Consultation platform.
  • Maintaining quality selection process – doctors that are a part of Top Doctors are recommended by other medical specialists, they have passed the stringent audit process considering their career trajectory and CV, and the procedure of medical committee that guarantees excellence. Finally, they meet the doctor face-to-face. Following the doctor becoming a member, they take into account patient reviews left for the doctor to continue to ensure their excellence.

Apart from core values, another thing that determines the success graph is the company’s short-term goal. Alberto, sharing about their mission proudly, shares, “The mission of Top Doctors is allowing patients easy access to the best medical specialists worldwide via a range of IT solutions. We have the aim of improving the healthcare process alongside the health of patients, reducing the emotional and economic costs of all stakeholders in the healthcare system.”

This success is commanded by the ease of network between the professional and service receiver. This is enabled by the seamless edge the Top Doctors platform provides.

Connecting Doctors and Patients

Top Doctors is an online platform gathering selected best-in-class specialists across over 50 medical specialties, in 8 countries (Europe, LATAM, and the Middle East). As of today, over 90,000 clinical specialists are referenced on the platform as the best doctors in their field, following a thorough screening process including peer-to-peer recommendations and patient ratings.

The platform is free for patients, generating over 275m web visits per year and contributes to solving poor access to medical specialists. It is the only platform that allows patients to make their own choice of doctor, a choice based on quality information, showing the doctors most recommended by other specialists and the real experiences of other patients.

Success is built by the trust of patients on the platform and this is driven by the leader’s strong commitment to the long-term goals of the company. The vision of Top Doctors, as Alberto elaborates, “is to be a unique platform providing the most relevant and up-to-date information available to patients worldwide, keeping them informed on the latest medical developments, and crucially guiding them to select the right medical specialist for their needs. From an internal survey, we know that patients usually have to go to on average 2.7 different doctors before finding the right specialist for them.”

The foremost features of Top Doctors are that through Top Doctors, 90% of users find the right doctor in the first consultation. They also provide easy access to booking face-to-face or online consultations with these specialists. Alberto says, “We work every day to improve communication between patients and leading health professionals around the world.”

This communication is assisted by their basket of products that are offered to the customers to make a choice.

The Key Services

Top Doctors offer a number of solutions and services to their member doctors and visitors to the website. These include online reputation management, online booking assistance, teleconsultation solutions, and other technological solutions that help to improve the doctor’s and the clinic’s practice management, as well as increase patient traffic.

The company is mindful of technological developments and is incessantly incorporating novel solutions. Talking about this, the founder says, “We have incorporated the latest technological trends, including AI, in our symptom checker that our algorithm offers the best medical specialist for your case after answering a few questions regarding the symptoms you are experiencing.”

The company, through its diverse products and platform operations, has been influencing an adequate supply of professionals even in the remotest areas.

Virtual Platform Making an Impact

The digitized world has both opportunities and challenges. While everyone works to extract the best of the opportunities, only a few work on improvising the procedural or interface issues.

At Top Doctor the leader and his believes that access to the best medicine and treatments should be within everyone’s reach, without geographical or digital barriers. This has led to 67 percent of online consultations coming from medical deserts – the zones where patients don’t have physical access to a leading medical specialist near to their location.

Alberto, being aware of market intricacies, notes the differentiation between telemedicine and e-Consultation. He says, “For a doctor to be able to provide an accurate diagnosis of a patient online, the doctor needs to have access to all of the patient’s clinical records. Due to this, we are promoting consultations that are “phygital”, which is a combination of physical and digital consultations which the doctor must understand very well, and incorporate it into their day-to-day workflow.”

Decisions Leading to Progress

Strategic planning specific to the industry helps a firm to produce better results as compared to its competitors. This company’s prime focus is only on secondary care and top specialists, which is reflected in its business model. It is based on hyper-specializing sales processes and structures in hubs. Their investment in technological innovation is in congruence with the tools that are always one step ahead of the competition. But these decisions are accompanied by various market-based and technology-related inefficiencies, which every company has to resolve to be at the top in the industry.

Cutting through the Challenges

Every entrepreneur faces some short-term as well as some long–term challenges. For Top Doctors, the initial challenge was not being an established brand in the market and lacking popularity; hence the company couldn’t add value. Alberto further explains, “This situation gives you three big challenges: attracting talent, getting funding, and retaining customers.”

But being problem solvers, they overcame these challenges by having a very clear vision of the business and knowing how to demonstrate that vision in a clear and emotive way, in order to excite future collaborators, investors, and clients. What it sells is a project for the future with a social impact that, being reasonable, is capable of capturing their irrational side (of ambition and emotion).

He says, “Once you have communicated and sold the ‘vision,’ it is necessary to keep the promises to face the great challenges: retain talent, internationalize the company, and make a profitable business model so as not to depend on financing rounds. To do this, you need to be rigorous with employees, keeping promises, helping them to grow, coaching them, and taking them out of their comfort zones, so that they maintain the ambition and values of the company.”

Sharing more about the way they have turned their challenges into opportunities, Alberto says, “Our great success has been to create a blueprint company, with a hub-based structure, which has helped us to overcome local health complexities. 95 percent of our business model remains the same in every country that we open, with only a 5 percent local change.

He further adds, “This has been a challenge that we have solved, thanks to technology and the company’s organizational model that allows the exchange of learning between countries while at the same time allows standardization of processes and products.”

Three Key Guidelines

The healthcare sector’s dynamism is characterized by the challenges of fitting in patients’ needs and technological progress. It has continuously attracted new innovative ideas to extend greater help. While some curious minds are capable of doing this, yet some rain during times of despair always helps one progress doubly.

As a leader and an expert in the field, Alberto comes as a new light to all the young aspirants. He lists three important sentences of wisdom as counsel to them, which are:

  1. The healthcare sector is very complex, while it is broad but one should also ensure the inclusion of local aspects. Newcomers to the industry need to research and understand the sector very well.
  2. You must be passionate. The important thing is the execution, not the idea.
  3. The timescales in healthcare can be lengthy. A healthcare business needs time to take off.

Being the Future in Healthcare

The contemporary developments in the sector have called for leaders to not just be in the present but to be thoughtful of their future endeavors to be competent and a trusted brand in the market. Talking about the company’s goals in the upcoming years, Alberto says, “The objective of Top Doctors is to develop technology focused on hospitals in order to improve internal hospital processes and help in the digitalization of hospitals.”

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