Beyond ZocDoc, four more ways to schedule your doctor online

ObamacareHyperlocal vendors are changing the way consumers navigate the healthcare industry, offering tools for finding local providers who are covered by specific insurance plans. Not only do these platforms benefit patients by providing a streamlined way to secure appointments with qualified local physicians, but they also benefit healthcare professionals by filling empty appointment slots and decreasing the percentage of no-show patients. From Stephanie Miles, an associate editor at Street Fight, here are five hyperlocal platforms that consumers can use to find and purchase local healthcare services.

1. ZocDoc: Get real-time availability information from local physicians.
Since its debut in 2007, ZocDoc has become the proverbial 800-lb. gorilla of the hyperlocal healthcare industry. Patients in more than 1,800 cities can find doctors and make appointments online, browsing by location, specialty, and insurance coverage. ZocDoc provides users with real-time physician availability information, allowing them to book appointments with an average of 24 to 72 hours notice. The company’s mobile app even uses geo-location to automatically pinpoint available doctors within close proximity to a user.

2. Patient Fusion: Book appointments with local healthcare providers.
An offshoot of Practice Fusion, an electronic health records tool used by more than 150,000 physicians, Patient Fusion launched in 2013 as a way for patients to search for healthcare providers by location or specialty. Users can read reviews from “verified” patients who have booked past appointments through Patient Fusion. Patients can see which time slots a provider has available and request appointments entirely through the booking portal.

3. Medicast: Find a doctor who makes house calls.
Medicast is a “doctors on demand” tool that people can use to find physicians who can provide care at their homes, offices, or hotel rooms. Medicast matches users up with physicians who are generally available to come by in two hours or less.  Medicast does not currently accept any domestic insurance plans. Instead, patients can opt to pay-as-they-go for $199 per visit, or set up a monthly membership for $29 to $49 per month.

4. DocASAP: Secure an appointment with a doctor today.
DocASAP users in New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey are able to schedule appointments with providers in a number of medical specialties in seconds using the company’s online portal. DocASAP is free for patients.

5. HealthLeap: Connect to a healthcare provider’s practice management system.
Acquired by Vitals, the doctor online reviews and rating platform, in 2011, HealthLeap is an appointment booking tool that people can use to find available physicians in their local areas. Appointments are made in real-time using data from physicians’ existing practice management systems. HealthLeap is also free for patients.


OnGridVentures Top VC Deals of 2012

Here’s our list of the top Venture Capital deals of 2012 in our sectors, culled from the VentureBeat Top 15 list:

Big Data-Enabled, Next Generation Content

Drilling Info, $166 million

Drilling Info might have the least interesting name on this list, but what it offers is certainly attractive — so much that it raised $166.2 million in a major Q1 funding round. It offers a SaaS-based oil and gas business-intelligence platform, and it claims to be the “most complete source of North American and offshore waters oil and gas information.” It’s easy to see how a company offering easy access to that kind of data could get some serious cash. The round was raised by Insight Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, and Eastern Advisors Private Fund, with Vaquero Capital advising the deal.

Big Data Enabled

Box, $125 million

Cloud storage and collaboration startup Box had a huge year with lots of developments including its OneCloud syncing solution, the opening of an international headquarters in London, and more. But one of its biggest pieces of news was when it raised $125 million in fresh capital for aggressive growth around the world. This latest big round was led by General Atlantic, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, DFJ Growth, New Enterprise Associates, SAP Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, and new investor Social+Capital Partnership.

E-commerce; Social Frameworks

Fab, $117 million

Social shopping startup Fab had a big year, and it recently announced that it sold $6.5 million worth of goods between Nov. 23 and Nov. 29, which is a very good number to kick off the holiday season. With that kind of traction, we’re sure its many investors — Atomico, Pinnacle Ventures, re-Net Technology Partners, Mayfield Fund, DoCoMo Capital, Menlo Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Baroda Ventures, and First Round Capital — were glad they put up more than $100 million back in July. Fab CEO Jason Goldberg also informed us that his startup raised another $16 million in October and November at the same terms as the July round, bringing the total to an impressive $117 million. Fab also recently said it plans a “pivot” in 2013, so we’ll see how that pans out.

Social Frameworks, Next Generation Content 

Pinterest, $100 milion

Pinterest, now the third most popular social network in the U.S. after Facebook and Twitter, had a hard time getting VCs’ attention when it first started out. But it didn’t appear to have much trouble raising a new $100 million round in May. The round was led by Japanese web retailer Rakuten, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Glencoe Capital, and other angel investors. As 2012 has continued, Pinterest has gained more traction. Recently, it added pin previews inside Twitter and opened its doors to business accounts.

Health Efficiency, Social Frameworks

Castlight Health, $100 million

Castlight Health, one of two health care companies to make this list, dubs itself as “the leader in health care transparency.” It offers consumers and companies comprehensive data about the price and quality of health care, ideally to help them save money while also improving their care. The company attracted astellar $99.9 million investment in May from T. Rowe Price, Redmile Group, Allen & Company, Maverick Capital, Oak Investment Partners, U.S. Venture Partners, and Venrock Associates.

Social Frameworks

Github, $100 million

GitHub, easily one of the most exciting startups of the year, caught a lot of attention in July for raising nearly $100 million for a Series A round. (It could be the biggest Series A ever.) Investors Andreessen Horowitz and SV Angel clearly believe in GitHub’s mission of supplying social coding tools to developers. The company has grown quite popular since its launch in 2008, and it has more than 1.7 million members who have shared more than 3 million code repositories. It recently hired Vlado Herman, the former CFO of Yelp, to help it manage its huge round of funds.

NY is the Epicenter of Healthcare’s Reinvention

NY is a hub for the reinvention of healthcare.  From Forbes, here is a snippet of recent activity:

  • New York Digital Health Accelerator: Fostering startups gaining market validation with leading healthcare providers around the state.
  • MedStartr: The first crowdfunding program specific to the unique requirements of healthcare.
  • Medicaid Managed Care: All Medicaid recipients are moving to a model that is highly successful in the private sector and abroad.
  • WebMD: By far the largest health-related Internet site for consumers and for health professionals (Medscape) is based in New York.
  • New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC): The public resource for health information technology running a number of programs.
  • Statewide Health Information Network of New York (“SHINY”): Arguably the Health Information Exchange that has the broadest reach and momentum.
  • IBM: Another NY-based company that has done more to vitalize primary care than any other organization. This is critical because primary care is the foundation of any well-functioning health care syste
  • StartUp Health: A 3-year academy program that selects “healthcare transformers” that are enabled by a sophisticated program to get startups through the various milestones pivotal to their growth.
  • Blueprint Health: A healthcare incubator for early stage companies just getting off the ground that has already fed companies into StartUp Health.

More here from Dave Chase in Forbes.

Lowering Health Care Costs while Improving Quality of Life

Best practices in health care — which I define as simultaneously reducing health care costs while improving quality of life — are often hard to find, but do exist.  The New York Times had a nice profile on Sunday of Bellin Health, a Green Bay health care system.

Low cost:  in the top 4% of hospitals holding down costs in the last two years of life, with spending per Medicare recipient 20 below the national average, per the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.

High quality: among the best in the nation in preventing deaths and hospital readmission from heart attacks, preventing infections and pneumonia.
Read more in the article here on Bellin Health’s methods.  My point:  Analyzable data on health care methods, costs, and outcomes is essential to health care reform, and this is just one example of how it can work.

Download Two Apps and Call Me in the Morning

Will medically prescribed “Apps” cure health care ills, as this New York Times article suggests?  Increased patient compliance with physician recommendations has enormous potential to reduce health care costs and improve patient outcomes.  This is true in a wide range of areas, such as post-surgery recovery, maintaining a heart healthy diet, and physical therapy.  But, aside from consumer fitness and diet apps, this market is yet to evolve.  What’s needed in a winning “app”?  For starters:

  1. A multi-format approach, mobile and web, to reach the broadest range of patients, so just a mobile “app” won’t cut it.
  2. MD-administered controls, enabling tailoring for each patient
  3. A patient compliance mechanism, such as feedback back to a health care professional
  4. A system incentive for the health care pros to engage, such as reimbursement incentives (or penalties), or links to outcomes.

Click here for the article.