Every summer millions of Dutch people travel to their holiday destinations. Catching some sun in France, riding a bicycle through Germany, or touring across Asia. But every year, tens of thousands of them are faced with a need for medical care abroad. This is why we developed ‘App de Vakantiedokter’ (the ‘Holiday Doctor App’) for Zilveren Kruis health insurers: a mobile app that allows users to chat directly with a medical expert.


Advice and Assistance

Zilveren Kruis is one of the largest health insurers in the Netherlands, with a total of over 2.5 million people insured. Zilveren Kruis is the health insurer that offers its people advice and assistance: personal care and the very best service in care, health and vitality. A brand promise that demands a powerful brand proof. 

Digital agency Greenberry and FHV BBDO have been asked to develop a summer campaign for Zilveren Kruis. We decided to turn the campaign question around and start with developing a relevant brand service. We decided to help Dutch holiday makers abroad who need medical care during their travels by offering them a useful app. A digital product at the heart of a campaign. Not just for clients of Zilveren Kruis, but for everyone.


App de vakantiedokter

So if people are unsure if they need to see a doctor or visit the hospital, plagued by innocent mosquitos, or troubled by a tick-bite, they can app the holiday healthcare service. With ‘App de Vakantiedokter’, Zilveren Kruis offers both clients and new users a useful app, which allows them to chat directly with a medical expert, from their holiday address. And app that makes travelers feel more secure because they always have a medical expert within reach.

Users can consult with a medical expert seven days a week in their own language. If they think it will be helpful to send in pictures to illustrate their problem, the app allows them to do so.  Especially handy with rashes or wounds. An experienced Dutch-language medical team will attend to the message and consult with a doctor if necessary. 

Also after receiving medical care abroad, people can get a second opinion with 'App de Vakantiedokter'. For instance, what kind of medication have I been given? And in countries where doctors tend to overprescribe, users can ask whether it is really necessary to take every drug they have been give.  

But the service goes further. Before travelers leave for their trip, users will receive tips and advice from the service about things such as health risks or vaccinations they may need for specific destinations.


The result

The app went live just before the Dutch left for their summer holidays in early 2014. Shortly after its launch, the holiday healthcare app garnered substantial free media attention (TV, radio, newspapers, online) and received positive reviews from a range of websites. 

The app immediately made it to the iTunes free top100 and was downloaded over 40,000 times. During the summer, the ‘Holiday Doctor’ provided useful advice to more than 100 Dutch travellers every day. It was used in 160 countries worldwide. The app was promoted with radio commercials and online (video) banners. We also pointed out the app last-minute using billboards near border crossings and at Schiphol airport.

Although the campaign has ended, the app is still widely used by Dutch people travelling to other countries. We are now considering further uses and developments for the concept, for instance to see how the app could play a role during the coming winter sports season.

About the authors:

Written by Jan-Willem van Beek (founder and strategy director) and Alain Dujardin (creative director) of digital agency Greenberry. App de Vakantiedokter was developed in collaboration with FHV BBDO.



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