Ana Ibarra Health

Booking doctor visits via an app is now a thing

There is no denying that technology is a huge part of the medical world.

Recently, I read a story on the Associated Press on the developing trend of booking doctor appointments through an app on your mobile phone. Does that mean that being on hold when trying to book a doctor’s appointment will be a thing of the past? Perhaps.

According to the article, online services such as ZocDoc and InQuicker allow people to schedule doctor visits and trips to the emergency room through a laptop or a smartphone. Apparently more hospitals and doctors are subscribing to this service because it is seen as a way to simplify the appointment scheduling process.

The article describes the services as “simple as going to a website, entering a ZIP code and the kind of care needed, and checking available times.” -- That sounds a lot like checking movie times and buying move tickets online. A lot of us do that anyway.

I think this type of service is a great idea. It sounds simple and convenient. I can schedule a doctor’s appointment past office hours and have a visual of open appointment times. However, I can also see how people who may not be as tech-savvy can be made uncomfortable with this service.

Plus, this only works if all you want to do is actually schedule an appointment, but many of us sometimes have questions or concerns that we want cleared up before we book something. We may have to dial and talk to a front desk person anyways.

But the growing number of patients who are using this new service--in the millions, according to the article-- seems to indicate that this is where the future of medical appointments is headed. So if you’re one of the few resisting a smartphone, that may need to change soon, as apparently even our health will depend on it.