The Rise of Doctor Appointment Apps and What the Future Heralds

 

The Rise of Doctor Appointment Apps and What the Future HeraldsIn the early days of mobile applications, the idea of using an app to manage your doctor appointments seemed far-fetched, but the old tagline, “There’s an app for that,” has never been more true. Using technology for personal medical care is now a standard practice for millions of patients and medical professionals alike, showcased by the rise of doctor appointment online apps. The rapid adoption of newer health and fitness apps offers a glimpse into the future of medical care where tech is a permanent fixture of daily processes. It’s very telling of what’s to come, so clinics and practices should board the train before it leaves the station.

Don’t believe it? Consider these interesting facts about doctor appointment apps.

The Future of Telemedicine is Worth Billions

From online scheduling to virtual consultations, telemedicine is on the rise. People in general are growing more comfortable with technology and its role in modern medicine, and the numbers can prove it: 71% of patients have expressed interest in adopting technology when it comes to managing their health. And roughly one-third have done so within the last year. Based on current trends, experts predict the telemedicine market—including doctor appointment online apps—will reach $186.5 billion by 2026.

There Is Demand for Doctor Appointment Apps Now

It’s not just the future of online scheduling that is worth billions. There is currently immense demand for doctor appointment apps that let patients schedule appointments on their own time. A recent Accenture study analyzed 13,694 doctor appointments across 182 practice websites and found more than half of those appointments (50.6%) were scheduled online. Accenture data also showed 17% of patients had utilized online scheduling in the past year, and 42% would have done so if they’d had the opportunity.

Patients Prefer Online Scheduling to Phone Calls

There’s no getting around it: Scheduling doctor appointments by phone is a hassle. Patients have to call during set hours and oftentimes wait on hold, just to be informed there are no available appointments when they want to come in. It’s no wonder why patients prefer doctor appointment apps to phone calls. Apps don’t require talking on the phone, which causes anxiety in many people, and can be accessed 24/7. These are just some of the reasons why 42% of adults prefer online scheduling to phone calls, per Accenture research.

Doctor Appointment Apps Reduce No-Shows

The National Library of Medicine points to non-attendance as a global health problem, with patients commonly forgetting their doctor appointments. This is not only a public health issue but a cash flow issue for medical centers that need full waiting rooms to maximize revenue. Research shows an average of 14% of patients don’t show up to appointments made by phone, but doctor appointment online apps can significantly reduce this number. For starters, online scheduling makes it easy for patients to add events to their calendars and reminders to their smartphones. Also, having their calendars at their fingertips makes it easier for patients to book appointments when they’re actually available.

Millennials Expect Online Scheduling

Of the generations that are fully in adulthood, the Millennial demographic (aged 25-34) is the most used to online scheduling for various appointments and shows the highest preference for it. This means they’re the most likely to expect a practice to offer online appointment scheduling. For practices that do offer it, it’s easy to market to Millennials who are likely looking for this feature when searching for a doctor. But don’t narrow your focus to just one demographic group. Online scheduling also appeals to other generations, so it should be used as a tool for customer acquisition and retention.

Offering Online Scheduling Alleviates Office Staff

The convenience of online scheduling doesn’t just extend to prospective and existing patients. It also reduces the strain on your office staff by essentially automating what was once a cumbersome process. Per Accenture, 34% of appointments scheduled online were requested outside of office hours, so practices can increase their total appointments by offering the 24/7 convenience of doctor appointment apps—without adding to your admin team’s workload. And here’s a bonus: That lighter workload means you can operate with a leaner team and save on payroll costs.

Online Scheduling Drives Telehealth Visits, Too

For patients that are still avoiding in-person meetings, telemedicine provides a way to get answers and guidance for various health needs. Virtual doctor appointments are still going strong in the post-pandemic world, but scheduling is just as much of a pain point as it is for in-person patients. In fact, 47% of patients would be more willing to schedule a telemedicine appointment if they could do it online.

Over Half of Patients Search for Doctors Online

Kyruus research shows 57% of patients begin their search for doctors online when looking for a new healthcare provider, showing a major opportunity for medical professionals who use doctor appointment apps. With just a few clicks, patients can find your practice online, read reviews and book appointments without having to interrupt their browsing experience. Online scheduling is simply a natural extension of your internet presence that will boost conversions.

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