Digital media and technology firm 1st Group (ASX: 1ST) has signed an agreement with major private health insurer, Medibank Private (ASX: MPL), paving the way for the company to pilot its digital appointment booking platform.
The agreement will see the company’s digital online patient engagement platform, MyHealth1st, be deployed as the online booking engine for Medibank’s new Members Choice Advantage online booking service.
Under the agreement, 2.8 million of Medibank’s customers will be able to use the MyHealth1st platform to book online appointments with Medibank’s Members’ Choice Advantage dental clinics.
In addition, providers who sign up to the program may have the option to upgrade to the broader range of MyHealth1st products and services.
While the pair have been working together for several months, the agreement underpins the launch of the initial phase one pilot which is expected to go live later this month.
On completion and success of the pilot phase, 1st Group will work with Medibank to scope and deploy the second phase.
1st Group managing director and co-founder Klaus Bartosch said the company was looking forward to working with Medibank’s extensive membership base to build awareness of the platform’s easy to use functionality.
“We are delighted to strategically partner with Medibank to use our MyHealth1st platform to power the Members’ Choice Advantage online booking service enabling Medibank customers to easily book an appointment online 24/7,” he said.
“1st Group was selected following a rigorous and competitive process which demonstrates 1st Group’s superior technology capabilities and market leading data privacy protections.”
Online health services booming
1st Group is building a range of digital channels including Australia’s online pet service portal PetYeti.com.au and corporate and government solutions platform GoBookings.com.
Together, these integrated platforms provide an easy to use online search and appointment booking service offering a range of value-added apps and services that facilitate digital patient and customer engagement.
Via the platforms, 1st Group says it is improving lives by “connecting consumers to a variety of healthcare services and information anytime, anywhere, so they can get well sooner and stay well longer”.
Online health services bookings are estimated to be worth around $1.9 billion alone with 1st Group reporting that it is currently undergoing “significant quarter-on-quarter revenue growth” within the sector.
During the December 2018 quarter, the company’s revenue topped $1 million for the first time, thanks in part to strong subscription growth. The company closed the quarter with just over $500,00 in the bank.
The agreement with Medibank sent 1st Group’s shares soaring as investors welcomed the news. In afternoon trade, 1st Group shares were up 110.7% to $0.059.