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A major digital transformation has taken place due to the pandemic. It has completely changed how various industries offer services and products to their customers and clients. While it is possible to book a plane ticket to another country in just minutes, the same convenience and speed of services have been significantly slower in the healthcare industry. This has led many in the industry to look for ways to speed things up. 


Conventional medical facilities typically work around five days a week and are usually closed during early mornings, late nights, weekends and holidays. These constraints make it hard for patients to find the right solution, especially when they have to find time to make an appointment around their work and family schedules. 


Despite the importance of technology in healthcare, Ambrosio noted that the right balance between human interaction and technology is still needed to create a successful omnichannel model that benefits all involved. 


Instead of focusing solely on technology, Ambrosio believes that the healthcare industry should merge the two to create a more streamlined and personalized experience for patients. In 2017, the startup launched in Italy, which serves thousands of customers in major cities. It offers a variety of healthcare services, such as home care and medical doctors.


Buoyed by a 5 million funding advance, the company plans to expand into new cities by opening physical stores in Milan and Turin this year. For EpiCura's expansion, the company's goal is to be in every corner of the customer's life, so they can always be there when the customers need them.


HealthTech Regulatory Barriers 


Getting into the healthcare industry in Europe can be a daunting task for start-ups. However, Ambrosio noted that new regulations in Italy have made it easier for digital healthcare services to thrive.


The government has been investing in the digital transformation of the healthcare industry, which has led to the reduction of the number of staff members needed to handle administrative tasks. Even still, there is a lack of clarity in the practice standards. More will need to be done to help ease the framework of regulations when it comes to HealthTech startups. 

For instance, while video consultations are considered in-person, they are not considered equivalent to in-person sessions. This means that patients can't always get their prescriptions filled during a video consultation. More rules need to be created that allow more access to patient services using video and telephone consultations.


The rise of virtual healthcare has become more clear following the pandemic. Ambrosio noted that businesses such as EpiCura have risen to the challenge. During the height of the pandemic, offering virtual appointments helped hospitals keep their doors open during times of high demand. This kept much-needed room available in the emergency rooms for severe cases and accidents. It also helps hospitals and clinics keep their visitor numbers low enough to allow for social distancing. 


During the last couple of years, Ambrosio noted that the government has started to understand the value of digital healthcare for patients. It allows people to avoid going to the doctor's office every time they need something.

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