Regional medtech providing better access to emergency healthcare

Tue, 16/02/2021 - 12:30

Access to comprehensive, quality healthcare services is not only crucial for maintaining and improving the general well-being of communities but also the wider economy.

With the advancement of technology, the future of healthcare is brighter than ever before. DOCTO are one Queensland company leveraging technology to provide better access to emergency healthcare services with their game-changing, virtual health service platform.

This regionally based, Gold Coast medtech company are one of 31 small Queensland businesses to share in almost $3.8 million in funding for Round 7 of the Ignite Ideas Fund.

DOCTO is Australia’s Online Hospital. We provide 24 hour access to emergency specialists via chat, phone and video consults. We also provide scheduled consults with the full range of medical specialists online ensuring fairer access and shorter wait times for all Australians, at home and abroad.

We caught up with DOCTO to discuss their medtech solution and how their grant will help them expand services into rural and remote areas of Queensland – helping to improve access to emergency healthcare and creating up to 20 new jobs over the next five years.

What inspired you to start your business?

Our team has historically used technology to offer remote assistance for Australians needing medical care while overseas. Working in various hospitals and clinics, we are aware of the disparity in quality-of-care dependant on patient location and financial capacity.

In 2015, we saw an opportunity to bolster our successful tooling and offer instant access to high quality emergency specialists to all of Australia, paired with scheduled consults online to support time-poor metro patients and geo-challenged rural patients.

What milestones have been reached?

So far, we consider our top three milestones as:

  • Providing five years of consultations to patients around the world and more than 8,000 consults.
  • Achieving and maintaining an overall satisfaction rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars from our patients highly recommending our services.
  • Supporting Australian businesses who rely on the fastest access quality care, including the Australian government.

What achievements are you most proud of to date?

We are most proud of the following achievements:

  • Being 100% Australian owned and operated by Doctors.
  • Providing more than 8,000 consultations to patients in Australia and around the world in 25 medical specialty disciplines.
  • Developing our own stand-alone telehealth software which is used by medical specialists everyday.
  • Being selected to show the future of Telehealth at international conventions.
  • Securing our Advance Queensland Round 7 Ignite Ideas Funding.

What are your business goals over the next 12-24 months?

Over the next 12-24 months, we are aiming to:

  • Provide Australian GPs in every location, specifically rural Queensland with the complete range of telehealth tools required to provide world-class medical care for patients.
  • Enable rural Australians to achieve parity with Metro Australians in the quality of specialist care.
  • Become a household name for care and be nationally recognised as Australia’s Online Hospital.

How will you use your Ignite Ideas funding?

DOCTO is bolstering its team and delivery of Medical Specialist consultations via telehealth for rural Queenslanders. We aim to support rural GPs to manage their patients.

How will this funding assist your business to grow and/or create jobs?

DOCTO has been able to employ Queenslanders and offer them long-term security thanks to the funding from the Ignite Ideas Fund. We are 100% self-funded and have spent much of our funding on the development of dedicated tooling and access for GPs and patients. The additional funding means we can now staff our business appropriately for scale.

Why would you recommend applying for Advance Queensland programs such as the Ignite Ideas Fund?

The Advance Queensland program offers real reward for innovation. The process is simple and straight forward with high-quality assistance throughout. The assessment was of a high-calibre and requests for additional information gave us confidence that the assessment process was thorough and well informed. We felt our successful selection was worth more than the funding (owing to the high quality of process) as it gave external verification of our innovative/socially valuable offering, to Queensland.

Why is it important to support Queensland businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs?

Australia is long renowned as an innovative country. We have a wealth of intelligent people, and by supporting their ideas, it helps others to thrive, and provides a local stronghold for the world markets. If we nurture entrepreneurs and create viable environments domestically, we will ensure their products and services are envisaged and created, and are typically first available to Australians enhancing our overall quality of life and prospects for success.

What’s your advice for other entrepreneurs and businesses starting out on their innovation journey?

Speak to as many people as possible that have been down those paths before.. The nature of most entrepreneurs is warm and encouraging. If you can shortcut setbacks or product failures through following the guidance of others, you will reach your MVP faster and can focus on scale without fear of the unknown.

Last updated 19 Feb, 2021
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0) ( )