35,000 doctors and 4,000 healthcare facilities in Europe use the appointment and patient record management software from Doctolib (here is a brief company profile). A doctor’s practice pays 129 euros per month for this service, which is supposed to relieve the office hours auxiliary staff – per treating doctor. The platform is visited by around 70 million users each month, more than four million of them in Germany. The company employs 1500 people in 40 cities across Europe. The German branch is located on Mehringdamm in Kreuzberg.
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Founder Stanislas Niox-Chateau, who actually wanted to become a professional tennis player, certainly did not make his many millions with free services. Against the background, it may come as a surprise that Doctolib wants to offer the service for coordinating vaccinations in Berlin “free of charge”, according to a company spokeswoman on Monday. “There are no costs for the Berlin centers or for the patients, only the costs of 0.16 cents for the reminder SMS are passed on to the Senate,” she said.
A very rough estimate for two SMS per head for three million Berliners over 16 years of age who have to be contacted results in: 9600 euros, an amount not worth mentioning in view of the largest vaccination campaign in the history of the city. And measured against the costs of roughly 72 million euros, which would have to be estimated if one assumed that the Senate would have all adults and adolescents over the age of 16 vaccinated twice with the currently only approved vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer for twelve euros per dose .
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Today one can only speculate about how the owners of Doctolib will get their money’s worth with this mini-bill. Perhaps by using Berlin as a reference project that helps the company to get similar contracts around the world. In the summer of this year Doctolib had equipped several corona test centers, including in Lower Saxony, with its system. There, in less than two weeks, the company helped set up the digital infrastructure for eleven return travel centers.
Tech companies generally only earn indirectly from services. The real treasure lies in the user data. They will only be kept in accordance with the rules and in data centers in Frankfurt am Main and Paris – “until the Berlin Senate Department for Health, Care and Equal Opportunities orders a deletion,” as the spokeswoman explains.