ZocDoc trying to bridge the appointment gap

Summary:ZocDoc has launched an iPhone app that lets people in 5 major markets make appointments with doctors over the phone.

With a growing shortage of primary care guaranteed by health care reform, finding and getting an appointment with a doctor becomes a priority.

Why not try your iPhone?

ZocDoc, which runs a Web site to find and make appointments with physicians in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Dallas and Washington, D.C., has also launched an iPhone app that lets you do just that.

(Image from ZocDoc.)

The roll-out of services like ZocDoc point to what some may see as an unhealthy trend, namely the depersonalization of patient-doctor relationships. I have known my own physician for many years and I know he knows me.

But that's going to be the exception, not the rule. People move and need to change doctors. Reaching doctors grows more difficult by the day. And what happens if you need specialty care?

I know a college student, for instance, who needs both dermatological and dental work done. She has put it off for months because she has had difficulty reaching a doctor, and gaining the trust in that relationship needed to start her procedures.

Systems like ZocDoc can help change that.

ZocDoc also benefits from the rise of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Personal Care Records (PHRs). These make your medical history portable. No more spending your first visit on a "date," filling out forms and saying what's wrong. EMRs let people get right to work.

So lets just file this under "cool," until ZocDoc comes to your town.

Topics: Health, IT Employment, Legal

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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