Orange and DabaDoc offer doctors ‘sans’ borders

French operator group Orange and e-health platform DabaDoc have made it easier for folks living abroad to nag family members back home about seeing a doctor.

Called DabaDoc Consult, it enables people from Africa residing in Europe and the US to cover the cost of a video consultation between a doctor and family living in their country of origin. It borrows concepts used in the remittance market and by companies like Uber Eats, and mashes them together. Here’s how it works: the person living abroad goes onto Orange’s international prepay top-up service, Transfert Pays. However, instead of sending phone credit back home, they send back an e-coupon that can be redeemed for a video consultation booked via the DabaDoc platform, which lets patients locate and make appointments with local doctors.

“The new launch falls squarely in line with Orange’s strategy to put digital technology at the service of everyone’s health in Africa, a continent where there is still just one doctor per 1,000 inhabitants,” said Orange, in a statement on Wednesday.

It also “comes in response to a concern shared by many emigrants: taking care of the health of their parents and loved ones living in their country of origin,” the telco said.

Launched in Morocco in 2020, DabaDoc has since expanded its service to cover Algeria and Tunisia, and today there are some 10,000 healthcare providers registered with the platform. Users can make appointments for in-person or video consultations. The latter saw a surge in interest after the pandemic forced people to stay at home.

“The health crisis played a catalytic role in the adoption of video consultations, which have subsequently become very popular in all specialisations for consultations that do not require the physical presence of the patient. Video consultations offer many benefits: they save time, are discrete and ensure confidentiality,” said Orange.

DabaDoc Consult is the result of a strategic partnership established between Orange and DabaDoc in June 2021. It aimed to enhance DabaDoc’s capabilities by combining them with Orange’s expertise in digital technology and payment solutions. As for Orange, it should strengthen its appeal to ex-pats and their families back home, and its brand is associated with extending healthcare access in Africa.

Meanwhile, separately this week, Orange also nominated a new chairman in readiness for the post-Stéphane Richard era. The lucky winner is Jacques Aschenbroich, chairman and former CEO of France-based car parts maker Valeo.

If Aschenbroich is given the nod, it will finally bring the curtain down on Richard’s tenure. Orange formally appointed Schneider Electric exec Christel Heydemann as its new CEO back in January, but Richard agreed to stay on until 4 April in an advisory capacity and to ensure a smooth transition. In addition to being CEO, Richard was also serving as chairman, but as part of its succession planning Orange opted to split these two roles, hence the Aschenbroich nomination.

“I wish every success to the tandem formed by Christel Heydemann and Jacques Aschenbroich which will be proposed to shareholders at the next AGM,” Richard said. “Two experiences and two sources of energy serving the responsible development of this magnificent group that I am happy to have served with passion these past twelve years.”


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