Those who are insured with De Friesland can, from next year, try a new service where they video-call a doctor for non-complex issues
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported in the Leeuwarder Courant, the ‘Dokter Appke’ app will eventually become very easy. “That’s the dream behind our idea. It’s also very useful for people who have issues walking”, says innovation director Cid Berger. Due to aging and a lack of new doctors staying in the region, there is a short-term shortage of general practitioners in the countryside in Friesland, and ‘Dokter Appke’ is one solution to this.
The Frisian association of Doctors, Dokterswacht Friesland, are explicitly involved in the trial of the new app. ‘Dokter Appke’ will also make it possible for more people to administer their own treatments, or attempt triage after an injury. The app will present questions typical of a consultation with a doctor, says Director Steven Hofenk.
‘Dokter Appke’ is a pun on the name of the Frisian gymnast Epke Zonderland (who himself qualified as a Doctor in 2018), who has been the face of De Friesland for a year or so. The app has now been downloaded around 8,000 times: and around two thirds of questions asked via the app have come on either weekends or evenings. There has also been a peak in use during holiday periods. “People who are on holidays in other countries often have a preference for Dutch doctors”, says Berger.
A group that has particularly made use of the app is young parents, who have often used it outside of office hours to ask about their sick children- and whether they need to go to a doctors surgery themselves. In the end, around 30% of these inquiries led to a referral to a doctor. Soon, these people will also be able to video-call a doctor, as long as they are insured with De Friesland.
Image via De Friesland Health Insurance