Montreal-based online booking application DoctorDirect has surpassed 175,000 registered health care patients with over 250 health care professionals using the service.
The startup promotes better access to healthcare in Canada through an online medical scheduling and booking system where patients can book appointments themselves. The online dashboard has increased patient-care productivity while saving offices and clinics wasted time from no-shows. Healthcare professionals using the tool have real-time access and complete control over patients and schedules.
“For many years now, we can book an airline ticket, a hotel or a restaurant online and I saw no reason why a patient could not book a medical appointment with a health care professional in the same manner,” said Dr. Brian Morris, the founder of DoctorDirect. “Our announcement today signifies that our online scheduling and booking system is very useful to patients.”
Since launching in early 2008 the service has reflected a growing desire among healthcare professionals to foster a modern, sustainable system for Canadians. The government’s goal to have Electronic Health Records’ (EHR) take over a paper-laden industry has yet to be fully accomplished.
Fortunately though, government initiatives like Canada Health Infoway and companies like DoctorDirect represent a large push towards single core systems for the innovative exchange of digital patient information.
In fact, director of business development Bradley Massi said that they’ve already been working alongside Canada Health Infoway as the only online scheduler being tested. Along with that, the DoctorDirect application is integrated with any EHR in Canada, having partnered with Telus Health and Omnimed.com among others.
DoctorDirect is helping to change an industry that most of us would have expected to be changed while everything else was going paperless. Montreal-based Urologist Dr. Brian Morris founded the company in 2007 after years of scheduling inefficiency. Secretaries were spending hours calling patients the day before appointments while just one or two scheduling mix-ups could backlog the doctor for hours.
“Everything else in our society today, we can access and book online and we believe its time that patients also have that flexibility,” Massi told Techvibes.
Now close to 75 per cent of Morris’ 60 patients per day are scheduling online, and no-shows have dropped from 10 per cent to 2 per cent. It has translated to three to four more patients a day, which means faster service for people who need to see a doctor and higher revenues for the clinic. In 2011 the service counted a user base of 83,000 patients and by the end of 2013 they expect that number to go up to 300,000. It costs $120 per doctor per year with additional add-ons.
The company has five private investors and is in expansion mode, seeking to double in size and go after venture capital. After all, their main US rival ZocDoc runs on $95 million in funding to date. More funding could mean reaching their goal of having the tool in clinics coast to coast.
Along with these visions, Massi and project manager Abhishek Kumar insist that they won’t stop at doctors. “Our long term plan is to increase the number of health care professionals using it, so we want to hit naturopaths, psychologists, chiropractors, the full market,” said Massi. “The goal is to the increase the number of doctors that use our system and the number of patients that will directly benefit.”
In terms of short-term goals an iOS and Android app is next for the growing company. Kumar told Techvibes that these would roll out by the end of August.