Health IT

Online doctor-patient matchmaker Wellclicks plans April product release

WellClicks helps patients find the right doctor based on a series of criteria, including language spoken and time and type of appointments (you can even require a photo). The company is gearing up for a beta version of its new product in April.

WellClicks, which matches patients with doctors via the Web, is gearing up for a beta version of its new product in April.

The Minnesota company in 2009 released a direct-to-consumer Web site that matches patients with doctors according to a long list of preferences, including language spoken and time and type of appointments (you can even require a photo). Consumers use the site for free, while providers pay a monthly fee for the listing that allows patients to schedule appointments directly through the WellClicks site.

About 40 providers in the Southwestern area of the Twin Cities had signed up for the service as of last June. At that time, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Mark Prondzinski said the company planned to expand to more of the metropolitan area and other regions, as well as possibly offer consumer reviews of providers.

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Ahead of launch, the company is raising $225,000, according to a regulatory filing.  Prondzinski declined to elaborate further on what the beta site would look like.

WellClicks was founded in 2007 and has seven employees. It was spun out of Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, Minnesota, under the parent company CreateHealth which pursues “new, innovative concepts in healthcare” that lay outside its core competency of running hospitals and clinics, Prondzinski said.

Many insurance companies already leverage the Web to connect their customers with physicians in and out of their network. Plus, there are similar companies, such as ZocDoc, in other geographic locations.

Also, WellClicks is one of at least three Minnesota-area companies trying to bring more consumer convenience to healthcare. Zipnosis aims to connect patients online with a provider for prescriptions when the diagnosis is clear. BloomHealth, meanwhile, wants to streamline the insurance-choice process for employers and employees.