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SaaS for doctors: There's need, why aren't competitor products being used yet?

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Dominik_M

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Hi there,
I'm currently working on a SaaS solution for doctors and medical practices to automate calendar scheduling.
Here's how it works:
  1. Doctors enter a list of services that they offer into my software. They provide a short description and the time they expect it to take them.
  2. Doctors offer "Book Appointment Now" button on their website, redirecting to my web application.
  3. Patient can select of the list of services offered by the doctor or select custom.
  4. Free times are calculated according to the expected time and the schedule.
  5. Patient books appointment, gets notified by E-Mail or SMS if appointment will be delayed (pretty usual here in Europe, 1-3 hours delay are pretty normal)
Benefits for doctors:
  • Tight, automated scheduling
  • Relief of the receptionist, normally taking phone calls to schedule appointments
Benefits for patients:
  • Easy, user-friendly booking of appointments
  • No need to wait hours in the waiting room, get's notified X-Minutes before the doctor's ready

What do you think of the solution?
There's already services available promising similar functionality, however, there's only a single doctor I know of who uses such a system.
The fact that doctors aren't using it speaks volumes to me...

From what my research has provided me with, most similar services don't really specialize in the booking process itself, but offer a platform where patients can search for e.g. a neurologist in Munich and get the corresponding information of fitting doctors.
From what I've learned until now, doctors here don't have the problem that they have too few patients. They have so many that they have problems with scheduling all of them.

I already have a minimal viable product and an appointment with a dermatologist the week after next.
He's already stated a high interest in my product.

I am looking forward for your critical thoughts and expectations. Are there services like this in the U.S.? Are they being used extensively? Do YOU use them? Why not?
 

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Last edited:

Kid

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There might be three things:
1. It's a nice have - maybe patients have enough time and don't mind spending it in line.
Also, its not like that without such system everything will break apart.

2. People might be accustomed to what they do already. Having them use such solution
would require educating them first.

3. It would not increase doctors revenue. Think of it, it they're fully booked on actual system, including your wouldn't do anything to their bottom line.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't try, but take time to think about pivoting slightly.
 

Dominik_M

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@Kid: Thanks for your feedback!
There might be three things:
1. It's a nice have - maybe patients have enough time and don't mind spending it in line.
Also, its not like that without such system everything will break apart.
I hate spending hours in the waiting room. I know many people that do too. Do you really view that differently?
2. People might be accustomed to what they do already. Having them use such solution
would require educating them first.
True. There is a change.
I am confident though that I can make it so easy for them that they won't even need a real introduction by my company. The only thing they need to do is read the patients description and confirm the appointment. Done.
3. It would not increase doctors revenue. Think of it, it they're fully booked on actual system, including your wouldn't do anything to their bottom line.
It would. Appointment scheduling is a real issue for any business that needs to deal with lots of customers.
You need to nest all appointments very efficiently. Any spare time is real money.
On the phone it can be really hard to find appointments:

Doctor: When do you have time? Morning, Afternoon?
Patient: Hmm, Afternoon is better.
Doctor: Great. How about December X.
Patient: Ah, this week is bad. I'm on a business trip. I am available on December Y in the morning though.
Doctor: That doesn't work with us. How about blablabla. I think you get it :)
 

Ing

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A friend of me is working at a doctor. She’s a consultation assistant.
An assistant is necessary though. No saving there.

People with appoint ond without have the same time of waiting. No advantage.

The Doc doesnt send away ppl without appointments.. no advantage.

ppl wanting an appointment want to talk to a real person to get information. No advantage.

I don’t see a need.
 

Dominik_M

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I'm certainly not omniscient. And I'm not certain there's a high need.
However, as mentioned, there are similar solutions that I find badly executed.
Those solutions cost ~300€/mo/doctor.
I've started this thread exactly for input like this. Thank you.
 

Dominik_M

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People with appoint ond without have the same time of waiting. No advantage.
You simply get a notification if the doctor's ready. If your appointment is delayed, you'll get a notification before driving to the doctor and waiting there. Don't you think, that's a major advantage?
 

Paul David

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I already use a software that can do this. Scheduling software with calendar, automated reminders and text message follow up etc.
 

Ing

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Will that appointment app discuss with the customers, which come at 17.15, When all want to go home?

I don’t think purely making appointments is a need a doc has.

But I m not the smartestone here around!
 

404profound

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I'm certainly not omniscient. And I'm not certain there's a high need.
However, as mentioned, there are similar solutions that I find badly executed.
Those solutions cost ~300€/mo/doctor.
I've started this thread exactly for input like this. Thank you.
In most cases, if there's no solution, there's a good reason there's no solution. Unless you're really onto something novel, which is rare, if a solution doesn't exist it's because there's not sufficient need. There could potentially be need, but you'd be wise to investigate that with people in your market before wasting your time building something.
 

glaing

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Hi there,
I'm currently working on a SaaS solution for doctors and medical practices to automate calendar scheduling.
Here's how it works:
  1. Doctors enter a list of services that they offer into my software. They provide a short description and the time they expect it to take them.
  2. Doctors offer "Book Appointment Now" button on their website, redirecting to my web application.
  3. Patient can select of the list of services offered by the doctor or select custom.
  4. Free times are calculated according to the expected time and the schedule.
  5. Patient books appointment, gets notified by E-Mail or SMS if appointment will be delayed (pretty usual here in Europe, 1-3 hours delay are pretty normal)
Benefits for doctors:
  • Tight, automated scheduling
  • Relief of the receptionist, normally taking phone calls to schedule appointments
Benefits for patients:
  • Easy, user-friendly booking of appointments
  • No need to wait hours in the waiting room, get's notified X-Minutes before the doctor's ready

What do you think of the solution?
There's already services available promising similar functionality, however, there's only a single doctor I know of who uses such a system.
The fact that doctors aren't using it speaks volumes to me...

From what my research has provided me with, most similar services don't really specialize in the booking process itself, but offer a platform where patients can search for e.g. a neurologist in Munich and get the corresponding information of fitting doctors.
From what I've learned until now, doctors here don't have the problem that they have too few patients. They have so many that they have problems with scheduling all of them.

I already have a minimal viable product and an appointment with a dermatologist the week after next.
He's already stated a high interest in my product.

I am looking forward for your critical thoughts and expectations. Are there services like this in the U.S.? Are they being used extensively? Do YOU use them? Why not?
Hi there, I'm a consultant in health and tech and can tell you there's a lot of solutions that do this - badly and sort-of well - and this is the summary of 7+years of trying to crack the code:

In the end, integration with the patient management system is key. Integrated solutions with PMS face resistance (and replacement) by said PMS vendors
Appointment scheduling is a nice to have for specialists - almost all specialists have a receptionist and that's their job: dual inertia

If you want me to take a look at your GTM strategy, happy to connect over LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drgracelai
 

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Csquared

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Have you reached out to the receptionists, appointment makers, or even nurses of these doctors and their practices? They're the frontline individuals who see first hand any frictions/problems that doctors have with their patients (with respect to scheduling and any other interactions). The main objective of all this is to help someone, or provide actual value, right? As @glaing said above, these receptionists' jobs are to deal with that dual inertia and they would probably be a treasure trove of actual feedback/issues that they're having, more so than any you could find in a forum.

Perhaps call a few practices and ask the receptionist for their time to speak for maybe 15-30 mins. Talk to them about their day and ask them what their doctor's top 3 complaints are. If they don't have time over the phone, perhaps craft a quick survey that you could send them after introducing yourself as someone who could 'provide scheduling solutions for reducing headaches between doctors and patients' or some sort of similar dialogue. The surveys being sent back could provide ideas on how to craft your product.

You help the frontline individuals, you end up helping the doctors.
 

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