VITAS automates phone calls using telephone assistants

Corinna Herrmann

Startup Stories

The telephone is both a curse and a blessing. It helps with work and distracts at the same time - across many companies. For example, 93% of medical staff says that the "constant calls" during working hours stress them out the most about their job. 

Nuremberg-based healthcare startup VITAS offers a solution to this problem. Founded in 2021, the tech startup has developed a platform that allows all types of businesses to create their own artificial intelligence-based phone assistants. These take calls on their own and collect all the important information mentioned, which means no more missed calls and the ability to devote time to work without interruption. 

In an interview with 5-HT, Co-founder and COO Tobias Bäumler goes into more detail about the function of the telephone assistants, as well as the VITAS platform. 

Tobias Bäumler, Co-founder and COO of the startup VITAS

How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague from the health sector?

"VITAS stands for Virtual Telephone Assistants. With our platform solution, we offer efficient relief for companies, medical practices and clinics that receive recurring telephone inquiries. Thanks to the innovative platform as a web application, really anyone - without development budget and technical knowledge - can configure individual telephone assistants in just a few minutes. In addition to this flexibility, we stand for data protection and are on our way to ISO 27001 certification."

What problem motivated you to start the company?

"Despite numerous online services, telephony is still the primary communication channel for most people today. I think everyone is familiar with the problems of waiting on hold and annoying keystrokes.

On the other hand, in SMEs and medical practices, answering incoming calls has to be done in addition to the actual work. These constant interruptions disrupt concentration and also cause stress in the workplace. Regularly recurring inquiries cost an enormous amount of time that would be better invested in value-creating activities. This is where we come in, providing effective relief that can be set up within minutes.")

The three founders of VITAS (f.l.t.r.): Thomas Abend, René Straub and Tobias Bäumler

How do you convince a pharmaceutical company, a health insurance company or another potential client to set up a pilot project with you?

"Unlike solutions from other providers, the VITAS telephone assistant can be configured completely independently via a personal platform access. Users do not need their own IT department or any prior technical knowledge to adapt the assistant to their personal requirements. This means that both the initial setup and spontaneous changes can be made flexibly at any time without having to contact VITAS Support or an IT specialist. In addition, the platform is open via an interface for integrations to other software providers, such as online appointment schedulers like samedi or heal11. 

Thanks to the VITAS telephone assistant, medical assistants are enormously relieved of telephone work and have time again for the patients on site. Interruptions due to constant telephone ringing are eliminated - and thus also a decisive stress factor. But patients also benefit from the digital assistant: They can finally reach the practice without annoying waiting loops, because the assistant can talk to up to 100 callers at the same time.

In addition, data protection is a top priority for us. At the beginning of 2023, following a data protection impact assessment, ISO 27001 certification will also be completed and the entire telephone infrastructure will be hosted on German servers without foreign parent companies."

The team behind VITAS

Who are your current customers (groups) and who do you want your potential customers to be?

"We have developed an industry-independent standard software, which is primarily intended to provide relief. Hereby, we primarily address SMEs that receive an enormous number of standard telephone inquiries and are grateful for the relief provided by VITAS.

The healthcare industry is our largest customer group here due to the shortage of skilled workers. Our other customer segments include companies from a wide range of industries, such as property management companies, system houses or even the catering industry.

As of today, we have already processed over 250,000 calls and are gaining new users every day. Next year, we plan to expand to additional languages and markets."

Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?

"In three years, we will be the standard for high-quality telephone assistants with maximum flexibility in German-speaking countries. We have already successfully positioned ourselves in other countries and language areas and, in addition to simple configuration, offer a wide range of integrations for automated further processing of information received over the phone, such as making appointments or creating tickets in corresponding systems."

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