Despite the advancements made in technology and ways of communication, word-of-mouth is still key when looking for a doctor. And if you’ve ever been to a GP or a polyclinic, you would know that long queues are pretty much the norm. Yet, the healthcare system remains ridden with horror stories of poor bedside manner, unprofessionalism, or insanely long wait times.
A new app, GetDoc, has just officially launched to help people connect with the right doctor who can meet their medical needs. It was created by Jireh Group, and tries to use a familiar method to solve this age-old problem.
Here at Vulcan Post, we’ve written about booking apps of all sorts, from those that help you book beauty services like hair or nail appointments, to those that offer home services like repairs and cleaning. And GetDoc is essentially a booking service for doctors and medical specialists. Not unlike other booking apps, it allows people to filter through available doctors based on location, crowd-sourced reviews, and insurance coverage, and book appointments directly through the app.
All bookings are kept in an easy-to-read calendar format; the app also sends you routine reminders and keeps your medical reports in your GetDoc account — this is helpful when you change doctors, or if you’re under the care of a few specialists at any one time. A secure, built-in function helps doctors relay test results to you within the app. Currently, it already has 60,000 doctors in their Singapore and Malaysia database.
To make the deal even sweeter, a tie-up with GrabTaxi will allow users to arrange for transport to and from appointments within the GetDoc app. This will be especially useful for elderly members of our families.
“Finding a reliable and professional doctor is a lot hard work, there is a large variation in the quality of care, GetDoc will change all that,” says Shung-Toon Woon, Founder of Jireh Group. “We all will undergo the difficult journies of caring for a loved one, finding the right doctor or specialist to consult and treat both chronic and terminal diseases. We are determined to significantly improve that overall experience from searches to visits to post care. We want to build an app that will ease the burden of managing care — both for ourselves and for our kids in the future.”
Will Booking Apps Solve Everything?
GetDoc isn’t the first startup on the scene to try to tackle the health industry. DocDoc, a similar online platform providing patients with ratings, information and services for doctors in Southeast Asia, is probably the closest competitor GetDoc has to face. DocDoc raised S$11 million in a Series A round just this year, and would be a difficult act to beat for the newcomer.
But with the familiar booking app model being brought into a part of this trillion dollar industry that hasn’t been adapting to the times as well as others, it poses the question of whether it will have an impact at all. Trust and faith in a doctor runs much deeper than what we might have with a hairstylist or a cleaner, and the reliance on word-of-mouth from family or friends may still come first in recommendations.
GetDoc plans to take on Singapore and Malaysia first, but has their eyes set on the 618 million people in the South East Asian region. It’s currently free for all users on the App Store and Google Play, while doctors who want to list their clinic on the app have to pay a yearly subscription fee.
Overall, this might be a great app to have, but let’s hope we never have to use it.