1stAvailable signs on with Whitecoat allied health directory

Online appointments booking service 1stAvailable has signed an agreement with Digital Health Ventures, which is half-owned by health insurer NIB, to use 1stAvailable's appointment booking system for NIB's allied health practitioner directory whitecoat.com.au.

whitecoat.com.au is a moderated site that allows allied health practitioners to list a profile of their services and also allows consumers to publish reviews of their experiences. In addition to dentists, it includes a range of disciplines such as physiotherapy, exercise physiology, dietetics and speech pathology.

Under the agreement, Digital Health Ventures will work exclusively with 1stAvailable on a range of activities to add functionality to both the Whitecoat and 1stAvailable websites, along with new marketing channels for 1stAvailable.

According to the partners, more than 65,000 customer reviews have been published on whitecoat.com.au since late 2014 with more than 18,000 allied health providers signing on. The site is due to be relaunched this month with the partners hoping it will have more than two million visitors over the next 12 months.

1stAvailable, which listed on the stock exchange following a $5.3 million IPO in early June, acquired three other online booking services as part of its listing, including the GP-focused DocAppointments and Clinic Connect.

GPs and medical specialists are not listed on whitecoat.com.au.

1stAvailable CEO Klaus Bartosch said the agreement was a significant step forward to building what he plans to become Australia's leading healthcare search and booking service.

“We expect this exclusive partnership to generate further growth in the number of healthcare providers using our service and in our bookings and revenue,” Mr Bartosch said in a statement.

“whitecoat.com.au has earned the healthcare industry's respect for its high-quality management of ratings and moderated reviews, and providing online appointments is one of the central pillars of its strategy.”

Mr Bartosch said whitecoat.com.au would actively promote 1stAvailable’s services to its healthcare providers, and 1stAvailable's existing healthcare providers will be able to promote their own profiles and booking availability through the Whitecoat site.

Digital Health Ventures CEO Matthew Donnellan said the exclusive partnership would make Whitecoat a one-stop shop for consumers to find, compare and book online with almost 140,000 allied health professionals.

“Those visiting whitecoat.com.au will have the ability to book an appointment with their chosen provider immediately after reviewing their online profile,” Mr Donnellan said.

“It was a natural evolution of the website and with the service available 24/7 on any web-connected device, it is very simple for both providers and customers to manage their healthcare appointments.”

Posted in Allied Health

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