We’re all familiar with the process of booking a restaurant in the digital age: you fire up your web browser or mobile app, check out a directory listing of all restaurants, read other customers’ reviews, and then book your preferred date and time, all without moving an inch from your sofa.
A new Singapore-based start-up is aiming to make the process of booking a trip to the doctor’s as easy as that through a new web service called DocDoc.
“The majority of doctors don’t have a digital presence,” said DocDoc’s Chief Technical Officer John Sharp.
“And DocDoc helps them easily get online.”
Using DocDoc is a cinch. The user navigates to the website, search for a doctor in his/her preferred location, and can immediately view the chosen doctor’s upcoming schedule. If there is a timeslot that fits the user, a reservation can be made on the spot.
After the appointment, users can then leave a review of their experience on DocDoc, and rate the doctor anywhere from one to five stars for other users. However, reviews are scarce at the moment as the service just launched.
“Doctors care about credibility,” said co-founder Hadi El Solh. “And who better than actual customers to tell you which doctor is credible?”
The service is completely free to the end-user, but doctors who want to be listed will have to pay a monthly subscription fee. Although DocDoc declined to give the exact figures, country manager Kylie Ho promised that two or three patients will earn the doctor enough to pay the subscription fee.
Despite counting its age in days, DocDoc’s directory already lists more than 11,800 doctors all over Singapore, and it’s working to add more.
DocDoc’s modus operandi is by no means an original concept. ZocDoc, for instance, has been in operation since 2007 and is available in 19 major US cities.
But it is attracting a significant amount of attention. DocDoc has already received millions of dollars in funding from prominent Silicon Valley and Singapore investors, including former DBS Chairman Koh Boon Hwee. It’s not hard to see why: all of its founders are industry veterans from companies as diverse as Temasek Holdings and medical tech company Medtronic.
The company is already setting its sight on international expansion. In the coming weeks, DocDoc will expand first to South Korea, then to the rest of the region. It is also looking to expand its listings beyond just doctors and specialists to other services such as chiropractic.
But don’t look for beauticians to appear any time soon. “Our focus will always be healthcare,” Sharp emphasised.
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