Living in a big city can be distracting enough.
And between a hectic work schedule and personal life, it’s often hard to find the time to actually take care of yourself when you need it the most.
Because let’s face it, when you’re starting to feel sick, it’s much easier to suck it up and go on about your busy day instead of taking time off work and trying to squeeze in a doctor’s appointment. Not to mention when you do try to go into a walk-in clinic or the emergency room, you’re more often than not going to spend hours waiting around hoping to see someone.
But despite how hard it is just to actually get a doctor’s appointment, in Quebec alone, there was more than 2.5 million cancelled appointments every year.
In order to fix this problem, DOCTR, a group of five ambitious entrepreneurs from Montreal, developed an app that connects new patients with medical appointments that have been left vacant by cancellations. This allows patients to make an appointment on demand, reducing wait time and unnecessary trips to the emergency room or walk-in clinics.
The free app, called DOCTR CHECK-IN, launched earlier this week as a pilot project in Montreal and has already had 2,000 downloads, says Quentin Gay, co-founder of DOCTR.
“Our main mission is to connect people on cell phones who find it hard to find an appointment. The DOCTR CHECK-IN app will connect patients to doctors and specialists and they can find an available appointment in up to 20 minutes,” says Gay.
The app is targeted towards students or working professionals who find it difficult to find the time to see a doctor with their busy schedules.
Gay says that there are other apps available that connects patients to doctors, but nothing quite like this.
“Clinics are always busy and a doctor’s schedule is always changing, so instead of trying to find a spot, we get the patient to tell the us what kind of appointment they’re looking for,” explained Gay.
“After a patient says what they’re looking for, it gets entered into a database. Clinics find it hard to give out a doctor’s schedule, so when they see what is available in our database, they can notify the patient of the available opening.”
It’s really that simple.
You just open the app on your smartphone or tablet and select what service or appointment you need. The app can connect you to appointments for dental work, physical therapy, radiology, gynaecology, and many more health options.
There’s also the opportunity to specify your availability and if you agree to receive private offers. Finally, you can also explain your symptoms and even add a photo of a previous doctor’s reference in the case that you need to see a specialist.
The information is then entered into the app’s database, which can be accessed by all medical professionals. If an appointment is available, you will be contacted by phone. You then confirm the appointment or it will be offered to the next patient waiting.
Gay says the pilot project will continue running in Montreal until the end of spring before it will begin testing across the rest of Quebec. The goal is to expand to Toronto and other major Canadian cities in the future.