– You do not have to go to a health center for this. I don’t think it’s legitimate to spend a doctor’s time with her when it could easily be resolved in another way, founder Matilda Lundblad told Breakit at the beginning of 2016.
From the very beginning, Kollarna has grown and today has a number of similar services – patients are given quick help, among other things, ointment for herpes, treatment of dry eyes and acne.
There will be more services
Recently, the news emerged that the online medical giant Doktor.se is buying Kollarna.
The acquisition of Kollarna enhances our digital physical care offerings. Their expertise and patient-centered solutions give us an enhanced ability to effectively treat some of the most common diagnoses, writes Eric Tedder, Swedish director at Doktor.se, who does not have time for an interview, in an email to Dagens ETC.
Eric Tedder explains the company’s rapid growth:
– We see that Kollarna has an accessible, quality, patient-centered service that is valued by affected patient groups.
According to Eric Tedder, they now plan to build on the idea of working with more checks.
– Yes, together with Kollarna we will develop a new “Kollar”. We also see that together we can provide a more complete view of our patients, both physically and digitally, he writes.
Expert: “Very sad”
But this approach has been criticized by Magnus Isaksson, president of SFAM, the Swedish Association for General Practice. He says he understands the idea of making it easier for people to get help, and that patients view Kolarna as simple and good.
– With all due respect to that, I think it’s very unfortunate.
A system of small individual checks and evaluations, he says, leads to care fragmentation.
On the one hand, it may be unfortunate for patients. If it is serious and you are looking for many different examinations, doctors and emergency rooms online, it will be difficult to find out things in time. If you have a regular family doctor, it will be easier to see the patterns. If you know the patient, you can see slight changes in mood, he says.
In addition, the international tariff is expensive, he points out.
500 kroner of common tax money goes as soon as you want to do something small, rather than taking it with your regular health center, he says.
Kollarna more than tripled its sales between 2019 and 2020. During the same period, profit quadrupled from SEK 740,000 to over SEK 3 million and in 2020 a dividend of SEK 1 million was distributed.
That same year, Matilda Lundblad, the company’s CEO and owner, doubled her own income compared to the previous year, from more than SEK 500,000 a year to SEK 1055,895, according to Swedish Tax Agency information.
The auditors charge the patient, but they also live like other online doctors in exchange for compensation from an out-of-county agreement. Most of today’s digital care providers are located in the Sörmland region. Each visit is classified as if the patient was a county visitor and the region of origin must, in accordance with the recommendations of Swedish municipalities and regions, pay compensation of SEK 500 for each visit to a doctor.
But how much money Kollar has pulled so far from the so-called out-of-county agreement, the district can’t answer. Kollarna, or InnovDr AB as the company is called, does not have its own agreement with the Sörmland region but has been a subcontractor to Doktor24.
– Doktor24 has handed over/recorded all his visits to us in the Sörmland region, which does not make it possible to know which visits have been made to InnovDr and which visits have actually been made to Doktor24, the district press service writes in an email to Dagens etc.
The district also states that routines will be reviewed.
Today, ETC applied for Matilda Lundblad. She asked to receive questions via email, but she did not answer.
Warnings of “potential dangers”
One of the auditors, Urinkollen.se, prescribes antibiotics for patients with urinary tract infections. Magnus Isacson doesn’t think it’s strange to prescribe antibiotics in some cases without seeing the patient. According to Strama, Collaborating Against Antibiotic Resistance, it’s OK to do this if you meet certain criteria.
But if you have frequent urinary tract infections, it is important to rule out other things. It could be a potential danger. He says you have a urinary stone or a sexually transmitted disease, or something gynecological.
According to Eric Tedder, Doktor.se strives to take full responsibility for its patients within what is included in the primary care mission.
– Checkers will be one of the services that we can provide to our patients. From the start, Doktor.se has also conducted physical care and strived for a physical-digital model – to have a strong physical presence across the country as well as to be able to offer an accessible digital channel of care, he writes.
“They take advantage of the weakness of a flawed system”
A company like Kollarna.se, which has glimpsed itself in quick visits to doctors for simpler ailments, is growing and is now being bought by giant Doktor.se that can be seen as a sign of the times, according to Peter Bergwal, PhD, a sociologist at Lund University Last year, he defended his thesis on Kry.
– I myself looked at when doctors appeared online and what happened to the regulations. When I started looking at it, the areas felt completely uninterested and I thought the online doctors were in brackets. Since then, it all just started. At this point, I think one has to realize that there is a fairly large group of patients who cannot use these services, he says.
“Quick Entry and Exit”
He says that online medical companies have focused on simple things like hay fever and fever to make as much money as possible.
– It’s quick in and out. You might think it’s awful. But it is not surprising that a private company is trying to make as much money as possible. The question is rather why we have a system that allows this, he says.
Last year, Peter Bergwal defended his thesis on the Kry Physicians’ online app. In his dissertation, looking at why patients choose online doctors, he showed that the right to freedom of choice in care conflicts with the principle that those most in need should receive care first. In addition, the principle of human value and the principle that care must be cost-effective.
– I usually say that doctors online follow the principle of human value. They provide services in other languages and target parents of young children and other groups who do not have easy access to a health center. it is good. But I don’t see how this system stands up to the principles of need and cost-effectiveness, and I think it’s strange that it has no life left for it, he says.
He says in his thesis that the problem is not really new.
Online doctors exploit the vulnerability of a faulty system. They further demonstrated how ineffective this system of freedom of choice has become. They take it to the extreme. But order is what we have arrived at democratically and legally to the conclusion we must come to. Then you have to decide if that’s okay, or if you have to go in and adapt.