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Digitally disrupting the healthcare sector


Revolutionizing the healthcare sector with digital disruption WRIT TEN BY




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In the healthcare sector, every minute in invaluable. Offering innovative web solutions for healthcare professionals, PetalMD is helping physicians save valuable time so they can save lives


ncredible advancements have continued to disrupt the healthcare sector but, behind the scenes, a lot of administrative work is still done

with the faithful pen and paper. In a sector where time is 04

of the essence, this has created a mammoth hurdle but it is one which Patrice Gilbert hoped to overcome when he founded PetalMD. The idea came to him when he talked to doctors and nurses about their daily grind in the healthcare sector. “I was shocked by their use of technology,” he recalls. “I realized that there was a real lack of technology penetration. In the beginning, I really saw how that, when it came to administrative tasks like scheduling, people were making decisions not based on data but subjective matters and I knew something had to change.” One of the largest drains on time that Gilbert identified was the creation of on-call schedules. Puzzling over Excel sheets and trying to juggle conflicting time constraints of physicians means that creating schedules can cost valuable hours of time — time that could be spent saving lives. By digitizing the entire process, the


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PetalMD cloud platform aims to solve

Combined with its Petal On-Call

this. Comprised of Petal Booking, Petal

module, Gilbert says that physicians

Scheduling and Petal On-Call, this in-

also have access to a hospital dash-

novative platform hopes to facilitate

board, a clever tool that gives staff

patient appointment booking, optimize

easy access to the hospital’s on-call

physician schedule management

list in real-time, on any device. “This

and secure information exchange.

makes sure that all the staff at the

“The first module is physician sched-


hospital know who is on–call as well

uling: it allows a group of physicians to

as the physician’s schedule for the

better manage their group schedules,”

clinic. It saves faxes and emails back

explains Gilbert. “The platform allows

and forth and it can improve hospital

physicians to create, manage and share

productivity by making sure that

their schedules more easily in real–time.

everybody who needs to access this

It seems obvious that a group of physi-

information can do so in real–time,”

cians would have this technology today,

he notes.

but most of the time, when we deploy PetalMD we replace pen and paper.”

With its third and final module, Petal Booking, the platform also offers rich


Patrice Gilbert Founder and CEO at PetalMD, Patrice Gilbert began his career as a product engineer at Thales Canada and Domosys. His natural leadership and vision led him to a position as Team Leader in Product Development at Taleo, where he moved up the ranks to become Product Manager for Eastern Europe in Germany. In 2009, he returned to Quebec and founded PetalMD, which earned him the title of Young Business Person of the Year for Technology and Research in 2010. Today, his passion for product development drives him towards finding new and innovative technological solutions for healthcare professionals.

“Comprised of Petal Booking, Petal Scheduling and Petal On–Call, this innovative platform hopes to facilitate patient appointment booking, optimize physician schedule management and secure information exchange” — Patrice Gilbert, Co-founder and CEO of PetalMD

insights into when the hospital is likely to be busiest or less in–demand. “There is no way a hospital can align their medical offering and their investment in equipment if they are not aware of their patient demands,” Gilbert explains. Using the Petal Booking platform, hospitals can automate tasks that are currently done manually like booking appointments or providing further information and reminders. This is then taken one step further thanks to artificial intelligence and data. “We help hospitals and their staff to better understand patient demands and, by using artificial intelligence, we can then forecast future patient demands, such as periods that w w t a l m d . com



‘The physician tool provider has close ties with Microsoft — its cloud-based platform is deployed on Microsoft Azure — and this has given PetalMD the global expertise and knowledge needed to become a global operation’

are likely to be busier,” he adds. “It enables physicians to plan their next schedule ahead of time. It’s the holy grail for hospitals because they are able to make decisions based not on thoughts, or subjective matters, but on real data.” The result? More time saved, a better work-life balance, and ultimately better patient care. For physicians, it’s been an invaluable tool. “Many of the hospitals we work with, they initially reach out, because that want to improve the personal life and working life balance for their physicians,” observes Gilbert. “They need to ensure that shifts are


distributed evenly within team members so, for example, when you’re working in the emergency department, they can ensure that you’re not doing too many nights in a row because this isn’t good for your health. By having all this data, hospitals can make sure to better serve their physicians. It also improves their quality of life as it’s easier to swap shifts with a few clicks of a button.” For patients, the difference has also been palpable. “From feedback we’ve received, we see that both patients and physicians feel empowered,” Gilbert says proudly. “Patients feel like the clinic or the hospital is listening to w w t a l m d . com


them. They can say that they’d prefer

professionals for clinicians, but that

to have an appointment on a Tuesday

is changing. Today, collaboration with

afternoon and you can more efficiently

clinicians is critical. Sensing this sea

meet that demand. Additionally, patients

change, PetalMD has done just that.

also have greater access to informa-

Indeed, in Gilbert’s eyes, what helps

tion so they understand their health-

PetalMD cut through the noise is the

care journey and they feel empowered.”

fact that it has been developed in col-

Technology has the ability to truly

laboration with physicians, with their

revolutionize the healthcare sector but

demands being placed front and center.

as more and more tools enter the fray

“In the beginning, we worked with the

it can be difficult to determine what

physicians, not just the hospitals, who

is truly useful and what could just be

would buy our software,” Gilbert re-

technology for technology’s sake.

members. “We made sure that the solu-

In the past, healthcare technology

tion would be truly helpful to physicians

was built solely by technologists or IT

and that it would meet their needs. That


Year founded

51-200 Approximate number of employees


feat but by leveraging global exper-

its value to doctors, PetalMD has been

tise, PetalMD has done so seamlessly.

able to leave a lasting impression on

The physician tool provider has close

the Canadian healthcare sector — and

ties with Microsoft — its cloud-based

it’s proven to be a simple recipe for suc-

platform is deployed on Microsoft

cess. Today, the technology has over

Azure — and this has given PetalMD

48,000 users including 32,000 physi-

the global expertise and knowledge

cians across the country, yet PetalMD’s

needed to become a global operation.

growth isn’t just restricted to the Cana-

“Because our infrastructure and

dian market. It is also making inroads

our data are deployed within Micro-

on the other side of the Atlantic; in just

soft Azure, we can ensure that each

over a year, no less than eight hospitals

time we have a discussion with a

in Switzerland, Belgium and France

new country, we’re compliant with

have adopted the PetalMD platform.

this country’s legislation,” explains

Expanding globally can be a difficult

Gilbert. “This is for us a major partnerw w t a l m d . com

ship advantage because Microsoft has a worldwide footprint. This allows us to deploy our technology within any country in the world without modification. Additionally, their commercial relationships with our customers are amazing. They already know all the hospitals around the world because, of course, most hospitals are already using Microsoft products as we speak. So, we have relationships with potential customers around the world as well.” As users’ online experiences become more and more seamless, customers 12

are expecting more from their IT platforms. Looking forward, Gilbert says

“It seems obvious that a group of physicians would have this technology today, but most of the time, when we deploy PetalMD we replace pen and paper” — Patrice Gilbert, Co-founder and CEO of PetalMD

the Canadian firm will continue to invest in technology to ensure it can keep pace with the IT landscape at large. “Thanks to the experience people have with Facebook, LinkedIn, or similar tools, we believe that we can’t lower the bar,” he reflects. “Our IT platform has to be mobile, it has to be accessible on a computer. It has to reflect the highest norm in security, making sure


that we can work with hospitals and

countries and, because of all the suc-

patient data. So, we’re always invest-

cess we had in Canada, we’re start-

ing in new technology, and this is very

ing to explore these opportunities.

important for our employees.” On top

In the future, I want to take PetalMD

of this, the company is also eyeing up

across the word. We want to take all

further opportunities abroad, building

the lessons we have learnt and apply

on the world-class reputation it has

them elsewhere to help other coun-

developed in the Canadian market.

tries provide better healthcare.”

“Today, we receive many demands from healthcare professionals in other w w t a l m d . com

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Petal MD Brochure – 2018  
Petal MD Brochure – 2018