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Alberto E. Porciani | Top Doctors

Choosing the right doctor can be challenging, especially if you have moved out to a new setting. It can also be difficult to search for a doctor if there are changes in your insurance or if your old doctor is retiring. Additionally, visiting a doctor physically can often be viewed as a hectic process, especially if you are severely ill.

Providing a one-stop virtual solution to the above challenges is Top Doctors, an online platform that helps patients make their choice by selecting the best-in-class specialists across the globe. With its patient-centric approach, the organization has built a device that is accessible from the comfort of your home.

In an interview with Insights Care, the President, and CEO Alberto E. Porciani spoke about this innovative approach and its impact on the healthcare niche.

Below are the highlights:

Please tell us about Top Doctors in detail.

Top Doctors is an online platform gathering selected best-in-class specialists across more than 50 specialties (orthopedic surgeons, dermatologists, ophthalmologists) in eight countries (Europe, LATAM, and the Middle East).

Today, over 90,000 clinical specialists are referenced on the platform as best doctors following a thorough screening and peer-to-peer and patients ratings selection process realized by TD.

TD’s offering to specialists is focused on online reputation management, online booking assistance, teleconsultation solutions, and other tech solutions that help improve doctors’ and clinics’ practice management and increase the traffic of better-qualified patients.

The platform is free for patients, generates +275m web visits per year, and contributes to solving the specialist’s medical-desert issues across the globe.

Please give us a brief overview of Top Doctors’ journey in the healthcare niche, highlighting the USPs of your company.

Top Doctors is the only platform that allows patients to choose a doctor based on quality information showing the doctors most recommended by other specialists and the real experiences of other patients.

Additionally, our unique search algorithm is based on matching the pathology, treatment, or disease experienced by the patient, with the doctor’s expertise, with a focus on specialist (secondary) care. As a result, the patient can easily find the right expert for them for each pathology, treatment, or disease.

Finally, we also offer online booking for face-to-face visits and telemedicine services where medical consultations with the most prominent doctors can be carried out immediately and without geographical limitations. This is crucial, especially for patients who live in ‘medical deserts’ (areas with a limited number of specialists).

What is unique about Top Doctors is that we have developed a selection process of top specialists. Our selection process is a combination of two main areas: peer-to-peer recommendation, where doctors nominate another doctor because they believe they are among the best in their field and would recommend them to friends or family, and on top of that, we have our internal auditing of doctors’ CVs.

Only one in five doctors pass our rigorous selection process. Finally, we also combine information about the doctor with patients’ ratings to maintain the highest standard of quality.

What are the core values upon which Top Doctors is built? What is its vision and mission?

The mission of Top Doctors is to make it easy for patients to find and get access to the best specialists worldwide through IT solutions.

The vision is to be a unique platform that offers patients worldwide the most relevant information guiding them to select the right specialist for each medical case and easy access to book a face-to-face appointment or telemedicine.

  • Right doctor for the right patient/pathology is our excellent triage system that helps patients to match their symptoms with the right pathology and find an expert specialist in that condition within our platform.
  • Our Telemedicine platform is a tool that allows patients to have quick and easy access to the specialist that they need.
  • Based on quality throughout our selection process, the doctors that are part of Top Doctors have been recommended as recognized doctors by other medical specialists. They have passed our internal audit process that analyses their trajectory and CV. We have a medical committee that guarantees excellence, and we finally have a face-to-face meeting with the doctor. Following this, we consider the reviews left by patients year on year.

We do all of this to improve the healthcare process and the health of patients, reducing the emotional and economic costs of all stakeholders in the healthcare system.

What is your opinion on the necessity for the healthcare industry to leverage the emerging trends of technology concerning fulfilling your client’s requirements in the healthcare industry?

At Top Doctors, we use the latest technological trends to help patients throughout the medical process.

  • We use AI in our symptom checker so that by answering a few questions and indicating your symptoms, our algorithm offers the most suitable medical specialist for your case.
  • E-consultation: We need to differentiate between telemedicine and e-consultations. To provide e-diagnosis, the doctor needs to have all the patient’s clinical records, or there needs to be some kind of a medical device connecting the doctor with the patient, providing real-world data. In this space, our understanding is that we are promoting consultations that are “phygital,” a combination of physical and digital sessions. The “phygital” model is something that doctors must also understand very well, and how it applies to their day-to-day workflow.
  • Big Data and technology for hospitals allow us to collect patient data thanks to standard medical records and use predictive algorithms that help to control and maintain the patient’s health.
  • Home care platform connected to a medical device to help with patient care and provide support and follow-up in medical deserts.

What was your inspiration and commitment behind developing innovative healthcare products to improve people’s lives?

It is the importance of getting your health right and know the best specialist to go to when faced with a health issue.

From an internal survey, we know that patients usually must go to 2.7 different doctors before finding the right specialist for them.

Through Top Doctors, 90% of users find the right doctor in the first consultation.

We also believe that access to the best medicine and treatments should be within everyone’s reach, without geographical or digital barriers. 67% of online consultations are done from medical deserts. With this in mind, we are working every day to make this idea a reality and improve communication between patients and leading health professionals around the world.

As an established industry leader, what would be your advice to the budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the healthcare industry?

The healthcare sector is very local and complex; you need to know and understand the sector well—the importance of passion. The important thing is the execution, not the idea—the timescales in healthcare. A healthcare business needs time to take off.

What are your future goals, and how do you envision further strengthening the stronghold of Top Doctors in the healthcare sector?

The objective is to develop technology focused on hospitals, improve any type of internal hospital processes, and help in the digitalization of hospitals.